Firefighters Suppress Multiple Lightning-Strike Blazes Around Ouray County
by Samantha Wright
Jul 05, 2013 | 1789 views | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OURAY – An early morning storm on Tuesday, July 2, brought little rain but sent lightning arcing through the skies above Ouray County, sparking several wildfires which firefighting crews from multiple agencies successfully contained.  

The most serious of these was near Ironton Park south of Ouray. The fire was spotted from Highway 550 on National Forest land above Crystal Lake Reservoir at around 2:30 p.m.

Ouray Volunteer Firefighters were the first to be dispatched to the scene, hiking up a steep trail to the fire site in Full Moon Basin at around 10,750 feet, for the initial suppression effort. A battalion of 40 U.S. Forest Service firefighters stationed in the area soon joined them, and took over the attack.

The fire grew to about an acre, with flames leaping up to 100 feet into the air, before it was suppressed. Three firefighting helicopters aided in the effort, dipping water out of Crystal Lake and dropping it on the fire.

On Wednesday morning, July 3, Forest Service firefighters and helicopters remained on the scene, “mopping up,” as Ouray District Ranger Tammy Randall-Parker put it.

“Having prepositioned resources available in the area helped us quickly get a handle on this fire yesterday,” Randall-Parker said. “It’s really good we had them around.”

Firefighters from Ridgway, Log Hill and the Bureau of Land Management responded to several other lightning strike fires on Tuesday morning, most of them on Log Hill Mesa, successfully suppressing them before they could grow into true blazes.
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