Lightning strikes Routt forest during storm |

Lightning strikes Routt forest during storm

— Several strikes of lighting reportedly hit areas of the Routt National Forest during an afternoon storm Tuesday, though there were no reports of fire, officials said.

Lynn Barclay, a spokeswoman for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, said Wednesday that the lighting storm, which lasted from 1 p.m. to about 8 or 9 p.m., sparked one fire in Moffat County but did not cause any significant problems for areas in Routt County.

Most of the individual lighting strikes were scattered around the county, with most of the clusters concentrating in the forest, she said.

Barclay said she did not know where the clusters were.

The fire that began on Moffat County’s Peck Mesa consumed one-tenth of an acre and has been fully contained, Barclay said.

The largest concentration of lighting strikes was recorded in the Piceance Basin in Rio Blanco County.

Besides the fire in Moffat County, 18 fires reportedly started in Northwest Colorado because of the lighting burst, Barclay said.

Five of the fires have been contained, and the rest were expected to be under control by Wednesday evening, she said.

The largest fire — the South Patch Fire — in Rio Blanco County has burned around 125 acres, and is on private land. The fire was expected to be fully contained by Wednesday afternoon, she said.

Although some light rain fell with the storm, it was not enough to put out the fires.

“If there’s rain with the lighting it can be advantageous, but if it’s just dry lighting, it’s not,” she said.

–To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail

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