Colorado at Risk for Lightning-Sparked Wildfires

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Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week concludes today, with wildfires being the final topic.

During the past week we have presented lightning information and safety rules. Although wildfires are not an actual weather phenomenon, wildfires are directly related to lightning and other weather elements.

Normally, the wildfire threat in Colorado increases significantly after the middle of June and usually peaks in early July, and remains high through August and early September. Colorado averages about 2500 wildfires each year.

Treating a Lightning Victim – What You Need to Know

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Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week continues through tomorrow. Today we discuss lightning medical issues for survivors.

The facts about lightning strike victims:

In Colorado, nearly a half million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes are documented each year. With millions of visitors and extensive outdoor activities, it is not surprising that, each year on average, three people are killed by lightning in the state of Colorado while 13 are injured. Last year, two people were killed by lightning in the Centennial State while seven were injured.

The Science of Lightning – How Does a Strike Occur?

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Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week continues through this Saturday. Today we discuss the science of lightning.

Every thunderstorm produces lightning. Lightning is simply a giant spark that moves within the cloud, between the clouds, or between the cloud and the ground. As lightning passes through the air, it heats the air rapidly to a temperature of about fifty thousand degrees Fahrenheit. This causes a rapid expansion of the air along the lightning channel. This rapid expansion causes a shock wave that we hear as thunder.

Colorado Governor Declares Lightning Safety Awareness Week

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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has declared the week of June 18-24 as Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Lightning strikes the ground in our state over a half million times each year and with many of us participating in outdoor activities, we need to learn how to protect ourselves from lightning hazards.

Lightning is also responsible for about half of the wildfires in Colorado each year. When lightning or other conditions are conducive to a high wildfire threat, the National Weather Service will issue Fire Weather Watches or Red Flag Warnings.