Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) app adds new wildfire alert feature for outdoor recreationists

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is proud to announce a new feature on the Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) mobile app that notifies outdoor recreationists about active fire alerts, including wildfires and prescribed burns in covered areas.

The COTREX app is a free, user-friendly app that provides authoritative trail information across local, state, and federal agencies. More than 236 land managers have contributed data on 45,076 miles of trail across the state. COTREX is unique in that it works directly and exclusively with land managers, parks, and open spaces to ensure that the information on the platform comes from a reliable, trusted source.

Over two dozen agency partners use the COTREX app to post real-time advisories, including seasonal wildlife closures, safety hazards, and other essential trail alerts. Users can plan routes, view allowed-use types such as hiking, biking, OHV, and snow sports, download offline maps, and see trip recommendations from participating partners around the state—all for free.

New Fire Alert Feature
COTREX will now include daily wildfire and prescribed burn alerts from trusted sources like inciweb and the National Interagency Fire Center.

  • Alerts will automatically appear on the website and app, providing descriptions, boundaries, and links to additional resources when available.
  • Wildfire and prescribed burn information is checked daily by COTREX.
  • Management agencies that do not report to inciweb or the NIFC systems can post their wildfire and prescribed burn alerts, though not every agency participates.

“COTREX is a powerful tool for researching trails,” said State Trails Program Coordinator Joe O’Brien. We’re really excited to release this fire alert feature. We’re committed to increasing the amount of official information we can provide to help the public recreate safely and responsibly around the state. Even if you use other trail apps, we always recommend checking COTREX for alerts or closures and downloading a free map in case of poor cell service.”

This tool is designed to help outdoor recreationists make informed decisions about exploring an area. Wildfires are unpredictable, and conditions can change rapidly, even minute by minute. All information in COTREX comes directly from the best available public sources, but it can still vary in accuracy and timeliness. Always contact local authorities for the most up-to-date information. Alerts will not update when outside of cell service or on downloaded maps.

Know Before You Go
Coloradans and out-of-state visitors play an integral role in keeping our public lands clean, living in harmony with wildlife, and making the outdoors safer to explore. A best practice for responsible recreation is to “know before you go” by checking the weather and closures for where you plan to explore and changing your outdoor plan based on the forecast and conditions. 

Before heading outside, COTREX is a valuable tool to help the outdoor community stay safe and know travel advisories to avoid hazardous fire conditions and potential search-and-rescue operations. 

Be Careful with Fire
To prevent wildfires, we ask Coloradans and visitors to ‘Do Colorado Right’ and embrace the Care for Colorado Leave No Trace Principle, ‘Be Careful With Fire,’ by following local restrictions before enjoying a campfire, fireworks, or other activities that use an open flame.

Additional fire safety best practices include:

  • Build a minimum-impact fire—only when allowed by local agencies and the risk of wildfire is low. Check fire restrictions or bans at
  • Use designated campfire areas when allowed and available. 
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Don’t try to burn trash, leftover food, or other garbage that must be removed later.
  • Keep the fire small. Small fires consume fewer resources and leave less impact.
  • Burn the wood completely to ash: Stop feeding the fire and give yourself an hour or more to add all the unburned stick ends.
  • When you are through, saturate the ash with water, ensure it’s cool to the touch, and remove trash.

For more information on campfires, visit Smarter with Wildfire Prevention or Leave No Trace – Minimize Campfire Impacts.

Media Toolkit
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has put together a media toolkit to assist with media coverage and educate the public about COTREX and responsible outdoor recreation. The media toolkit includes:

  • Stock images of wildfire and prescribed burns in Colorado
  • Newsletter copy
  • Social media assets
  • Key messages and app standard language
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
COTREX Media Toolkit