Lightning strikes Routt forest

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Several strikes of lightning 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 lightning storm, which lasted from about 1 to 9 p.m., sparked one fire in Moffat County but did not cause any significant problems in Routt County.

Most of the individual lightning strikes were scattered across the county, with most of the clusters concentrated in the forest, she said.

Barclay said she did not know exactly where the clusters were located.

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

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

Besides the fire in Moffat County, an additional 18 fires were reportedly sparked in Northwest Colorado because of the lighting, 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 about 125 acres of private land. The fire was expected to be fully contained Wednesday, she said.

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

"If there's rain with the lightning it can be advantageous," she said, "but if it's just dry lightning, it's not," she said.

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