Lightning sends firefighters, homeowners scrambling Monday night

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PARACHUTE, Colo (KKCO) -- According to the National Weather Service, there were about 300 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in Mesa County Monday night.

Lightning struck a little too close to home for one man in Parachute.

"I could smell smoke, so I started to go out and investigate on my four wheeler,” said Mike Mckeon

Lightning destroyed a tree a couple of hundred yards from Mckeon's home.

"I grabbed my neighbor and a couple of shovels and had my wife get a hold of our other neighbor,” said Mckeon. “I had them call 911 while we tried to put it out.”

The neighbors were able to contain the fire to the one tree with the help of Grand Valley Fire.

"I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time and we were able to prevent a forest fire,” said Mckeon.

Wildland firefighters for the BLM also had a busy night.

"We already had a crew on standby in anticipation for the evening,” said Chris Joyner with the Bureau of Land Management.

BLM firefighters knew vegetation was dry from weeks of hot, dry weather, so with a lightning storm moving into the area, conditions were primed for fire.

“We already had staff in place,” said Joyner. “So, when we did get some starts, we were able to get to them really quickly.”

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