Photo Credit: Ouray County Sheriff's Office via Twitter.

Photo Credit: Ouray County Sheriff's Office via Twitter.

According to the Ouray County Sheriff's Office, a fallen tree is causing problems in the area of Ouray, Colorado.

Not only did a fallen tree cause a power outage in Ouray, it also sparked a small wildfire on the side of Highway 550, also known as Red Mountain Pass or the 'Million Dollar Highway'. More specifically, the blaze is at mile marker 87, completely in Forest Service Land. The blaze is estimated at just one acre and the road has not been closed, as of the Tuesday noon announcement.

This is one example that goes to show how unpredictable this fire season might be in Colorado given the extreme dryness present in much of the state. While the eastern two-thirds of the state has recovered from drought conditions, things remain quite dangerous along the western border with Utah. Currently, the US Drought Monitor estimates that 17.53 percent of Colorado is experiencing 'exceptional' drought, the worst of four monitored phases. This compares with 0 percent on the same date last year.

RELATED: 11 tips on how to avoid starting a forest fire

The 'Million Dollar Highway' connects Ouray with Silverton over roughly 23 miles. If this road shuts down, it adds several hours of travel time for those moving between these mountain town towns. The road is known for its stunning views and cliff drops of hundreds of feet that flank one side of the road.

This is a developing story.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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(1) comment


Don't know how they measure the drought? The Colorado River was running pretty well in Glenwood Canyon. There was a lot of green as well.

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