Lightning sparks wildfires near Craig |

Lightning sparks wildfires near Craig

Staff Report

During the 48 hours from Sunday into Monday, over 4,000 lightning strikes have pounded Northwest Colorado, according to officials with the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

Fire crews and engines have been running initial attack from one incident to the next. Reported to Craig Interagency Dispatch Center on Monday were 19 new fires as a result of thunderstorms moving through the area. The two fires of concern are the Thornburg Fire and the Indian Rock Fire. The incidents are in the same vicinity about three miles apart and six miles west and north of Maybell off Highway 318.

The Indian Rock Fire was burning on about 10 acres of state land on Monday. Responding is one engine from Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, one engine from Craig Fire and Rescue and one water tender from the Maybell Volunteer Fire Department. The Colorado Juniper Valley crew has been reassigned to this incident from the Four Mile Fire. No structures are directly threatened.

The Thornburg Fire was about 100 acres on Bureau of Land Management land with two BLM engines and one single engine air tanker (SEAT) fighting this fire. No structures are directly threatened.

Other fires reported are in Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties with U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Rangely Rural Fire Protection District, Steamboat Fire Protection District and Artesia Fire Protection District responding.

Of the nine confirmed wildland fires reported Monday all but the Four Mile Fire are contained.

The Four Mile Fire was recorded at 1,027 acres Monday using a Global Positioning System (GPS). Fire personnel were anticipating 100 percent containment this evening but resources had to be diverted to other emerging incidents.

No injuries have been reported. Investigations are still under way on some incidents but lightning is the suspected cause in the majority of reported wildland fires over the last two days.

The local, state and federal managers urge people to be cautious with use of fire outdoors as vegetation is extremely dry. Even though rain has been received in some areas it has been scattered and vegetation will dry quickly and become receptive to fire.

Craig Interagency Dispatch Center received over a dozen fire and smoke reports on Monday. Assisting with the other fires reported in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties were Craig Fire and Rescue, Meeker Volunteer Fire Department, Rangely Rural Fire Department and Maybell Volunteer Fire Department. The majority of incidents were one-tenth acre.

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