Lightning sparks small fire in North Routt |

Lightning sparks small fire in North Routt

A red flag warning was issued Sunday for Routt County, which means conditions are ripe for fires to start and spread

Lighting from largely dry thunderstorms that passed over Northwest Colorado on Saturday caused what is now a small fire in North Routt County, according to the North Routt Fire Protection District on Facebook.

The fire is in the Larson Creek drainage and was only about a quarter of an acre in size as of Saturday. Campers staying in Steamboat Lake State Park first spotted the fire and alerted park rangers, according to the post.

The location was shared with a helicopter based in Rifle, and additional federal fire crews were dispatched to the area. North Routt firefighters used local access roads to find the fire for the helicopter, which, within an hour, was dropping water on the fire.

There was no growth of the fire overnight, according to the district. On Sunday, U.S. Forest Service firefighting crews will hike out to the fire and begin work to contain it and coordinate with the helicopter to ensure the fire is out.

The fire will likely produce visible smoke to the north of Steamboat Springs for the next day or so.

The weather conditions Sunday led the National Weather Service in Grand Junction to issue a red flag warning for Routt County, which means the low humidity and high winds make conditions ripe for a fire to start and spread. A red flag warning was issued Saturday as well.

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