Lightning in Northwest Colorado is believed to be the cause behind numerous wildfires that crews worked Monday and Tuesday to contain, according to the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.
Unit spokeswoman Lynn Barclay said lightning started 11 fires in recent days. Most of them were in western Moffat County, although some burned in Rio Blanco County.
The fires ranged in size from less than an acre to the 300-acre Logging Fire east of Douglas Mountain, Barclay said.
Some of the smaller blazes had been contained by Tuesday afternoon, and crews were working on the others, she said.
“We are actively suppressing them and getting resources to them,” Barclay said.
Engines responding to the fires are Dinosaur National Monument, Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Craig Fire/Rescue.
Fire crews and officials also reported Tuesday that the East Fork Fire, which was reported about 1 p.m. Monday 10 miles south of Elk Springs, had grown from 200 acres to about 450 acres. No structures are threatened.
Fire crews Monday night were able to contain the 26-acre J Bord Fire, which burned on private land 10 miles northeast of Maybell.
It was located on private land, burning through sagebrush, grass and juniper. Again, no structures were threatened.
Weather continues to be the culprit behind the fires, Barclay said.
Fire officials reported that thunderstorms are expected throughout the rest of the week, along with warm temperatures, conditions that are ripe for wildfires.
Barclay said holdovers, or fires that ignite after lightning has passed through the area, could pop up in coming days.
“We’re seeing that a lot (right now),” she said.