Lightning Keeps Firefighters Busy Tuesday

     Lightning kept area firefighters busy again on Tuesday. Among the busiest were members of the Crawford Fire Department, who responded to 3 blazes triggered by lightning. 

    Chief Brian Prosser says the largest was the Carlson Fire northeast of Crawford on Ferguson Road, which burned 30 acres before being contained. Crews from Chadron and the U-S Forest Service also joined the effort.

     The Sheep Fire burned two acres in the Smiley Canyon area on the west side of Fort Robinson State Park. The Forest Service joined in on that fire as well.

     The smallest fire was the Stick Fire, just 1-acre in the Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area southeast of Crawford, but firefighters remained overnight because of the difficulty of access. Game and Parks crews fought the Stick Fire as well.

    Chief Prosser offers deep thanks to the Chadron, Forest Service, and Game and Parks crews for their help, calling the efforts of all the firefighters “great work.” Prosser says “It takes everyone to get these fires out when you get spread out like this. 

       Chadron crews also responded to a fire south of Hwy 20 in the Hawthorne Road area, but the landowners had the blaze almost extinguished when the fire engine arrived.

       Chadron Chief Brandon Martens says the rain this week should ease the threat of explosive fire a bit for now, but he remains worried about the number of lightning strikes in the Pine Ridge Tuesday night igniting fire that might take off in a few days.  

     One flight to look for signs of smoke took off yesterday morning and Chief Martens says more will follow as conditions warrant.