Lightning Sparks Fires in Denver

Lightning on Sunday caused several fires including one near Pine that burned about three acres and another in Jefferson County near Buffalo Creek that was kept to half an acre.

Those storms moved pretty quickly, causing concern for officials at Cherry Creek State Park. They evacuated the western portion of the park because if a 20-acre fire.

Viewer Joe Holtzer said that that the lightning struck at 6:45 p.m., igniting the dry prairie grass. He said flames were visible about 10 minutes after the lightning strike. Firefighters quickly responded and about an hour later, firefighters had the blaze completely out thanks also to some rain.

Lightning also started the Ralston Creek Fire in Jefferson County's White Ranch Park Friday. It is now 100 percent contained. The fire came within three-quarters of a mile of the nearest home. Winds kept shifting, making it difficult to contain.

"And we always fight that kind of issue anytime we're in a mountainous area with wind, because the valleys dictate how that wind goes," said Jim Shires with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

There were never any evacuations. About 40 firefighters will be back out there mopping things up.

Just about all of Colorado is considered at "very high" fire danger Monday. The Western Slope is in "extreme" fire danger.

And unfortunately, the forecast isn't very bright for firefighters who'll be on the battle lines this week.

Meanwhile, crews are working to protect dozens of homes in southern Colorado.

The homes are located near the New Mexico border on La Veta Pass, between the towns of Fort Garland and Walsenburg in Costilla County. Officials estimate the fire to be about 200 acres. Hundreds of residents have been urged to evacuate but the evacuation is still voluntary.

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