A brush fire quickly spread to about a quarter-acre south of Cortez on U.S. Highway 160/491. The suspected cause was a tossed cigarette from a vehicle, said Jay Balfour, chief of the Cortez Fire Protection District. A passerby noticed the flames and alerted a nearby business. Cody Meier and Liam Cooper, of Rocky Mountain Spray Liners, ran a hose to the fire and began dousing it as firefighters arrived. “It flared up quick,” Meier said. Traffic was delayed in both directions for about 15 minutes.