Lightning sparks brush fire near Stagecoach

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— Lightening sparked a fire Monday in a meadow of grass and sagebrush bordering Bureau of Land Management property on the south side of Stagecoach State Park.

Routt County Emergency Manager Chuck Vale said the fire started at about 1:30 p.m.

A park visitor saw the lightening strike and called the Stagecoach Ranger Station immediately, Park Ranger Mike Wall said.

Wall, who is also a volunteer firefighter with the Oak Creek Fire Protection District, called his colleagues at the fire department, and a crew was quickly dispatched to the scene.

By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had consumed a small area, about two feet wide by 10 feet long, Vale said.

"The Oak Creek Fire Department got there very quickly," Vale said. "They did an excellent job. Luck was on our side this time, but boy, was that grass dry."

Oak Creek firefighters used hand tools to create a fire line to contain the small blaze and had the fire under control and snuffed out in about 30 minutes, Wall said.

Wall said the fire could have spread to a patch of aspens and pines 30 yards away, or burned itself out before spreading that far. But he said the park visitor who called the lightening strike in was "very helpful," and the quick response by the Oak Creek Fire Department was key in making sure the fire did not spread.

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