Late-evening fire in Craig sparked by lightning strike to fuel tank |

Late-evening fire in Craig sparked by lightning strike to fuel tank

Lightning flashes as smoke pours from a Friday night fire believed to be caused by a lightning strike.
Caitlyn Adams/Courtesy Photo

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1:55 p.m. Saturday.

CRAIG – A fire, sparked by a lightning strike to an above-ground fuel tank at the Moffat County Road and Bridge Shop, briefly threatened Craig early Friday evening.

About 7 p.m., Craig Fire/Rescue rushed to the 800 block of Second Street, near the Moffat County Shop, in response to reports of a fire spreading toward other parts of downtown Craig. Moffat County Sheriff and Fire Chief KC Hume said they received the call around 6:53 p.m.

Officers with the Craig Police Department and Moffat County Sheriff’s Office deputies were directing traffic in the area of Second Street and closed off roads in the vicinity of Third Street and Woodbury Drive, as residents were leaving work and heading home. Hume said he had requested area around First Street to be closed off so firefighters can work putting out the fire and keep people safe.

About 9:20 p.m. Friday, Hume confirmed the fire had been extinguished and that one tank had been destroyed and the other fuel tanks nearby were safe.

Hume added that, apart from the fuel tank, no structures were damaged by the blaze, and no one was injured.

Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck said he was downtown picking up dinner when he saw the rising smoke and hurried as close to the site as he could get with the closures.

Beck said he swung by the site Saturday morning to provide lunch for Road & Bridge employees who were mitigating clean-up of the fire and the resultant spill of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel.

“Boy, that one tank is just a mess after that lightning,” he said.

The county will convene within the next week to calculate the costs of replacing the fuel cell.

“You’ve got the clean-up, the cost of ordering it and installing it, so it’s going to be a pretty pricey thing to get back,” Beck said. “But, it’s a necessity, and we’ve gotta get it up and running.”

This is a developing story, and the Craig Daily Press will provide updates as more information becomes available.