Photo Credit: Blue Cat Studio (iStock).

File Photo. Photo Credit: Blue Cat Studio (iStock).

More than 20 wildfires were sparked late Friday in southwest Colorado by lightning, according to Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch.

Lightning from a dry storm Friday evening lit up fires in more than 20 spots on Ute Mountain and Southern Ute lands in Colorado. Firefighters are "actively engaged" in finding and battling the blazes, officials said.

Latest reports say the largest fire in the area is 80 acres. Resources battling the blazes across southwest Colorado include helicopters, air tankers, smoke jumpers, fire engines, and crews.

This is a developing story. Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch report officials are "extremely busy" and will update the public as they are able to.

All of western Colorado faces a Red Flag Warning Saturday until 9 p.m., warning of high winds, low relative humidity, and high temperatures that lead to critical fire conditions.

Another lightning-sparked fire is burning in northwest Colorado near the town of Rangely. The Oil Springs fire sparked Friday evening and is reported at 20 acres as of 10 a.m. Saturday, according to Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office. The fire is burning in a remote area near Texas Mountain area off of Highway 139 - approximately 20 miles south of Rangely.

RELATED: 11 tips on how to avoid starting a wildfire in Colorado

Firefighters have not reached any containment of the Oil Springs fire as the trucks cannot reach the blaze Saturday. No structures or private property are threatened. A big column of smoke is expected to be seen from Highway 64, Highway 139, Rangely, Meeker, and Highway 40. Fire crews are working Saturday on a plan to find access routes to the fire and create a safe way to engage.

Colorado faces critical fire weather each year between winter. Be responsible in the outdoors and follow any and all fire bans and restrictions issued in your local area. Read more about steps you can take to be responsible and safe to avoid starting a wildfire in Colorado.


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