Storms spark new fires

Rain may have poured down on much of the county last week, but it brought an unwelcome guest in the form of lightning strikes. Four new fires sparked up over the weekend, says Fire Warden Jeff Garman, but all were quickly dealt with.

“There was enough rain to keep them from showing up until early afternoon – it helps, but it doesn’t,” he says of the rainfall.

“All it does is keep them from showing up sooner. The ‘witching hour’ is between about 1 and 4 p.m. – that’s when they start showing up.”

All had been quiet for a few days after firefighters completed work on the Elk Horn Fire near New Haven last Monday, which reached an estimated two to three acres. A new wave of lightning strikes, however, led to reports of more fires on Sunday

“The storm that went through on Saturday evening was what [caused them],” says Garman, suggesting that there may be more fires to come as the lightning continues.

The Jackpot Fire was reported in the early afternoon on Sunday, seven miles southwest of Sundance. At time of going to press, it had reached 39 acres in size and was 80 percent contained.

“We had Sundance units, a couple of units from Pine Haven, several locals, State Forestry and some Forest Service units,” he says.

It took around six hours to bring the fire under control.

Three additional fires were started by the lightning, two northwest of Sundance and one near Aladdin. All three were around an acre in size.

Locals responded to the Aladdin fire, while Forest Service and Hulett units joined locals at the two near Sundance.

Photo  courtesy of Alana Greiner.