Lightning sparks small fires near Gypsum Thursday |

Lightning sparks small fires near Gypsum Thursday

GYPSUM — Lightning strikes sparked three small fires Thursday afternoon in the western end of the valley near the airport.

The first were contained Thursday night and crews were expected to have them extinguished on Friday, said Dave Vroman, Gypsum Fire District Chief.

Calls started rolling into emergency dispatchers about 4:30 p.m. when smoke started rising out of the Spring Creek area of Gypsum. The three fires were close to each other. The first covers about five acres and the other two are about a half acre each, according to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

All three are on Forest Service land.

Firefighters called in a helicopter to help knock down the blaze. While the fire did get close to some homes and structures in the area, they’re all out of harm’s way, said people on the scene.

The U.S. Forest Service sent crews from Grand Junction to monitor the fires throughout the night.

Vroman also reminded people that safety is the top priority.

“If you have to leave your home quickly, do so,” he said, and encouraged everyone to learn the Ready, Set, Go philosophy taught by local fire departments.

Agencies working on the fires are Gypsum Fire District, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Vail Fire Department, United States Forest Service, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle County Emergency Management and the town of Gypsum.

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