Cortez responds to a pair of fires

The Cortez Fire Department responded to two fires early Wednesday morning, a brush fire behind Hibbett Sports and a house fire in Towaoc.

Chief Jeff Vandevoorde said the brush fire was reported at 3:31 a.m. and firefighters extinguished it fairly quickly. He suspects it was set intentionally. The fire was located 400 feet west of Sligo Street.

Also on Wednesday morning, Cortez firefighters assisted Ute Mountain Fire Department with a house fire at 152 Ute Trail. The call, which came in at 4:30 a.m., was the second to the house in two days.

The first call came in at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday. Cortez firefighters were on scene until 3 p.m. They were called in again in early Wednesday morning when the fire flared up.

Ute Mountain Fire Chief John Trocheck said the fire is under investigation but said the home appears to be a total loss.