Steamboat Springs About half of an inch of rain fell on the Steamboat area Monday night, but it wasn't enough to prevent lightning from starting a small fire amid the downpour.
During Monday's rainstorm, a lightning strike started a fire about 6 p.m. that burned a small, heavily timbered area, about 15 feet by 15 feet, on the south end of Emerald Mountain, Steamboat Springs Fire Chief Bob Struble said.
Firefighters spent about four hours fighting the blaze and had to dig out the fire because it was burning underground, he said.
"It's so dry that the rain didn't really have any effect on the fire," he said.
Area snowpack is close to gone now, so the valley has remained dry.
No one was injured and no structures were burned in Monday's fire.
Lightning fires typically burn underground and may not appear on the surface until later, he said.
"Rain helped maybe for last night, but today the wind could pick up and it could become as dry as it was before," Struble said.