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Great Balls Of Fire - Apparent Meteor Grounds Firefighting Planes In Colorado

A plane drops fire retardant in LaPlata County, near Durango, Colo.
Nathan Bilow
A plane drops fire retardant in LaPlata County, near Durango, Colo.

Firefighting planes got a surprise in central Colorado yesterday - witnesses reported apparent meteors near the blaze burning west of Colorado Springs.

The quaint term used for the witness observation is "sky sightings", according to AP.

But the Denver Post's version is more exciting: "balls of fire or something in the air" appeared Wednesday afternoon. It was enough to ground firefighting planes for an hour and a half. A scientist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science told the Post just a single meteor flared across the sky.

The display was brilliant enough that KWTX notes crews on two commercial airplanes spotted something while they were flying over Kansas.

Unfortunately, the fire prevented anyone from going out to look for meteorites. This blaze is one of several fires burning in Colorado, including the High Park fire which has consumed more than 68,000 acres and 189 homes.

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Korva Coleman is a newscaster for NPR.

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