Lightning sparks four fires near New Castle |

Lightning sparks four fires near New Castle

Heidi RiceWestern Garfield County Staff

NEW CASTLE – Four small wildfires broke out Thursday evening in the New Castle area, but were contained within three hours. No homes were threatened.The fires were caused by a lightning storm and were reported around 5:30 p.m., according to Brit McLin, chief of the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District.Fire district officials were on the scene by about 6 p.m.Two of the fires were on Bureau of Land Management land and two on property behind County Road 240, McLin said.”There was less than a couple acres that burned,” he said. Property owner Becky Rippy said she looked out and saw smoke behind her house and a helicopter lowering a bucket into her reservoir and flying away.”The fire was on a mountain behind our house,” she said. “You couldn’t see flames, but you could see smoke. I saw a helicopter dipping into the reservoir on our property and then into a small pond behind our property.”Both the BLM and the fire district responded to the fires, which were contained by about 9 p.m., according to McLin.While there have been some fires this summer, McLin said it hasn’t been as bad as in the past. And Thursday’s fires were the result of natural causes.”Last year we responded to 19 calls within 2 1/2 hours,” he said. “These (wild land fires) are the only thing we work on that are not a direct result of somebody’s poor behavior.”Contact Heidi Rice: 625-3245, ext.

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