Lightning Strike Blasts Pile of Tires South of Lamar

Zeus used to smite his enemies with a well-thrown lightning bolt. What are the odds that a lightning strike from a storm passing over miles of open plains in southeast Colorado would hit a pile of used tires in the middle of the prairie? Pretty good, actually!

100 Tires, Ignited by Lightning Strike Southwest of Lamar

Staffon Warn, Prowers County Rural Fire Chief reported that the fast-moving storm on Thursday, June 14, brought little in the way of rain or hail, but the lightning struck south of 7500 County Road FF which ignited tires located out in a pasture southwest of Lamar. The tires were laid out in the sand to prevent soil erosion. Approximately 100 tires were on fire which accounted for billowing clouds of low-level black smoke that streamed back into Lamar before dispersing. Three trucks responded with six firefighters. Foam, along with 2,200 gallons of water was used to control and extinguish the fire. The quick response, and the fact that much of the prairie is green, helped to prevent the spread of the fire.

Black Smoke from Fire, Showcased Against Storm Clouds

Prowers County Road and Bridge assisted with a wheeled loader to cover the remaining smoldering tires, personnel and units spent 2 hours to control the situation. Three Prowers County Rural Fire units, two Holly Fire District units and one Granada fire units responded to a fire started by lightning near the intersection of County Road 19 and N. Prowers County Sheriff Deputies also assisted with that fire. Eleven firefighters battled the 15 acre fire in rough terrain, which made it difficult to access the actual fire area. Those units spent two and a half hours fighting and mopping up the fire last night.

Fire Officials Blocked Access to County Roads from the Public

 The National Weather Service out of Pueblo issued a tornado warning for southeast Colorado shortly after 4pm on Thursday, and weather spotters reported a tornado on open terrain 13 miles northeast of Two Buttes or about 19 miles northwest of Saunders elevator. Baca County also reported a twister that was on the ground on open terrain as well. No injuries were reported from the storm.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: CitycommunityFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementPolice ReportsPublic SafetyWeather


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