Today the Mesa County Board of Commissioners declare this lightning and wildfire awareness week, noting that lightning is the number one weather hazard in Colorado.
Statewide weather conditions are similar the year 2002, when thousands of acres of Colorado succumbed to wildfires. Mesa County is currently under a fire ban, but even seemingly innocent occurrences like driving on a flat tire can cause fires.
Colorado ranks number 11 in the number of people killed by lighting.
Mesa County Emergency Services Coordinator Kimberley Bullen says you don’t have to be camping or playing golf to be in danger, and warns everyone that even going to a gathering like Country Jam later this week can present a lightning hazard.
Lightning has caused 23 fires in the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit so far this year, compared to 17 human-caused fires.