Drought news: Dry lightning is sparking wildfires across the West

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From the National Weather Service:

The Heat Wave and drought in the West have dried vegetation to the point where fires can rapidly spread out of control. A number of wildfires have been started this week in several states from the Desert Southwest to the Pacific Northwest. The main culprit is lightning strikes associated with thunderstorms that produce little rainfall.

Click here for today’s Red Flag Warnings from the NWS.

From The Denver Post (Scott Willoughby):

Because of rapidly dropping water levels, Williams Fork Reservoir near Parshall is closing its boat ramp Thursday for the remainder of 2012. Beginning Friday, only hand-launched craft (canoes, kayaks and similarly small vessels) will have access to the reservoir. Boat ramps will no longer reach the water and no motorized craft will be allowed.

“This has been a challenging year for reservoir operators all across Colorado,” said Neil Sperandeo, manager of recreation for Denver Water. “We wish we were able to keep the boat ramp open longer, but unfortunately, the drought conditions have prevented that from happening.”
The Williams Fork River below the dam was flowing at about 275 cfs as of Tuesday, down from about 365 cfs the previous week.

The closure is the latest in a long string of ramp closures at reservoirs throughout the state, along with emergency fish salvages at Barr Lake State Park, Jumbo Reservoir in Julesburg and Crystal Lake near Ouray, where all bag and possession limits have been temporarily removed for licensed anglers because of receding water levels.

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