Lightning Strikes ignite two fires in western Garfield County |

Lightning Strikes ignite two fires in western Garfield County

The setting sun lights up the haze and cloud filled sky south of Rifle on Sunday. Two small fires in western Garfield County were ignited by lightning strikes over the weekend, joining several wildland fires burning in southwestern Colorado.

A weekend thunderstorm is responsible for two small fires burning in rural western Garfield County near the Utah border. Both fires are located north of Interstate 70, one on private land and the other on BLM land.

Two lightning strikes were responsible for igniting the Jim Canyon 2 and Jim Canyon 3 fires which are within a mile of each other.

Walt Stowe with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said smoke jumpers and hot shot crews were called in to help contain the fire and keep it from spreading Sunday evening.

As of Monday afternoon crews have 100% containment on the 3-acre Jim Canyon 3 fire. Crews continue to work on the 7-acre Jim Canyon 2 fire, and have it at around 50% contained.

Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit is managing the fires, with one hotshot crew and two smokejumpers currently battling the fire as high winds continue to plague the Western Slope.

A light haze over the Colorado River and Roaring Fork Valleys began Sunday as several fires in the region including East Canyon, Goose Creek, and Sand Creek fires burning in southwestern Colorado.

Weather patterns continue to bring smoke from a half dozen large fires burning in Arizona currently.

Stage 1 fire restrictions are currently in effect for Garfield County, and were implemented based on dry conditions, weather outlook, human risk factors, and firefighting resources available.

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