Lightning sparks multiple fires in Box Elder County and near Preston

Fire fighters battling a grass fire near Preston, Idaho, Aug. 5, 2019, (Courtesy: Franklin County Fire District).

Fire fighters have been battling multiple fires in Box Elder County and near Preston, Idaho.  The fires are believed to have been caused by lightening late Sunday night.

Box Elder County spokesperson Mitch Zundel said the large thunderstorm produced more than a hundred lightning strikes in the county, sparking an estimated 30 wildfires.

Fire fighters battling a grass fire near Promontory, Aug. 5, 2019, (Courtesy: Box Elder County Fire).

Fire departments from throughout the county responded.  They spent the early morning hours locating and suppressing the fires.

Zundel explained that approximately 15 fire engines worked through the morning to protect rangeland, homes, and fences.  They were able to contain 12 of the fires, keeping them to an acre or less.

The largest fire, the Russell Fire, has burned around 5,000 acres and was 20 percent contained by Monday afternoon.  The second largest blaze, the Curlew Fire, has burned 4,500 acres and is almost completely contained.

Zundel said about 70 personnel are working to locate the remainder of the fires and bring them to full containment.  They are being helped by fire fighters from Cache County.

Fire fighters in Franklin County also were busy Monday morning, extinguishing a fire on the bluff, west of Preston.  The fire burned approximately 10 acres before being extinguished.  Investigators believe the blaze was also sparked by lightning.

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