Meteor reports ground Colo. firefighting planes

11:09 PM, Jun 20, 2012   |    comments
Flames from the High Park Fire burn northwest of Fort Collins, Colo., Sunday, June 10, 2012.
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BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) - Authorities temporarily grounded firefighting aircraft battling an out-of-control blaze scorching central Colorado on Wednesday, reacting with caution to witness reports of meteor sightings.

The temporary move came amid several reported sky sightings near the fire burning 1,100 acres, or nearly 2 square miles, west of Colorado Springs.

The Colorado sightings corresponded with reports of a possible meteor filed by the crews of two commercial aircraft over Liberal, Kan., according to the National Weather Service. Other sky sightings were reported in Raton, N.M.

A spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration said he had no such reports. He also said there were no reported disruptions to commercial airline traffic.

Fire officials ordered four single-engine aircraft to stay on the ground as a precaution. Two heavy air tankers were also affected. The planes soon resumed their attack on the fire.

The groundings came as firefighters were taking advantage of a break in the heat to ramp up their attack against wildfire burning on more than 100 square miles in the northern part of the state. 

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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