July 24, 2008

Lightning Sparks Blazes in Northwest

By Bill Scanlon

Lightning moving through northwestern Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday ignited 14 fires in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, including a 100-acre blaze that may prove beneficial to Bureau of Land Management land northwest of Maybell.

"It's burned about 100 acres of mostly sage grass and juniper trees," said Lynn Barclay, spokeswoman for the BLM. "There are no structures around."

The whole area is very dry, with some stretches classified as extremely dry, she said.

Two engines and a hand crew were working the fire Wednesday.

"We have a confinement strategy, trying to take advantage of any natural barriers, such as rocky outcroppings or rivers that can form a barrier to the fire's spread," Barclay said.

The fire could help regenerate grasses, open up some meadow areas and rid the area of decaying trees, she said.

Originally published by Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News.

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