Lightning fire contained
Jul 30, 2014 | 1699 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lightning fire contained

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A lightning-caused fire near Abajo Peak on Sunday, July 27 burned approximately twelve acres before crews were able to stop the flames.

Lightning struck in the Gold Queen Basin at about 1:30 p.m., starting a fire that slowly spread in the grasslands over the next few hours.

First on the ground was a Helitak crew of eight firefighters who were dropped into the area. The BLM crew is based out of Moab.

A helicopter then dumped several loads of water on the leading edge of the fire. The water was taken from Loyds Lake.

Two fixed-wing aircraft then assisted the firefighters. A single engine airplane made a precision drop of fire-retardant slurry that helped contain the fire to the Gold Queen Basin and out of the adjacent Long Pole Canyon, which contains a large amount of old growth timber.

Then a P2V Neptune tanker, dispatched out of Grand Junction, CO, dropped two loads of fire retardant slurry at about 7:30 p.m.

The massive Korean War-era plane dropped hundreds of gallons of slurry on the flames, giving the fire crews an upper hand.

A rainstorm doused the area soon afterward. The on-site incident commander stated that the fire was contained by 9:30 p.m. By 8 a.m. the following morning, the fire was declared controlled.

Forest Service personnel state that local crews have been busy responding to about a dozen lightning-caused fires, including an active fire (at the press deadline) near Little Dry Mesa and Starvation Point.
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