National Weather Service kicks off lightning safety awareness week

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) Lightning killed two people and injured seven others in Colorado in 2016, according to reports. The National Weather service wants people to know what to do if they're caught in a thunderstorm.

Sunday the kicked off lightning safety awareness week at the National Weather Service. The goal is to help people make good decisions on how to avoid lightning.

Severe weather doesn't hit the Grand Valley too often, but lightning strikes are still a big concern.

"If you're outside enjoying something like that, definitely want to pay attention to any distant thunderstorms. If you're close enough to hear [thunder], you're more than likely close enough to be struck by lightning," said Michael Charnick, a meteorologist for the NWS in Grand Junction.

The National Weather service said lightning is a large concern in the afternoon during the summer months.

Lightning is also responsible for about half of the wildfires in Colorado each year.

During this week, a series of statements will cover many topics related to lightning and wildfires.

Monday -- Lightning overview in Colorado
Tuesday -- The science of lightning
Wednesday -- Outdoor lightning risk education
Thursday -- Indoor lightning safety
Friday -- Lightning medical issues for survivors
Saturday -- Lightning and wildfires

NOAA's website contains abundant information on lightning safety, you can find that link on the right of your screen.

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