Lightning-strike fires knocked down |

Lightning-strike fires knocked down

Naomi Havlen

Two fires started by lightning Monday afternoon were almost completely extinguished yesterday, fire officials said. The fire that ignited on the north flank of Watson Divide burned a little more than nine acres, said Aspen Fire Chief Darryl Grob. Members of the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit were still in the area Tuesday afternoon along with a fire engine to monitor the scene. The fire was declared controlled at 2 p.m.Grob said while the blaze could reignite, firefighters thoroughly inspect the materials at the site that were either burned or scorched to ensure against lingering embers.Monday afternoon’s lightning storm also ignited a small blaze in the woods above Woody Creek. The Little Woody Creek fire was less than an acre, Grob said, consisting of a fire in spruce on a steep, north-facing slope where fuels were not very flammable.Smokejumpers were deployed in the area, but were expected to be coming off the mountain yesterday afternoon because the fire was so small.”There’s dry and then there’s dry,” Grob said of fire conditions. “On north-facing and south-facing slopes, the difference between the two is night and day.”Had lightning struck the south-facing, sun-exposed slopes, the fire might have spread much quicker, he said.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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