Rancher and more than 30 head of cattle killed by lightning strike in Jackson County

Lightning over field
Posted at 6:18 PM, May 26, 2024

JACKSON COUNTY, Colo. — A rancher and more than 30 head of cattle were killed by a lightning strike in Jackson County on Saturday, according to the Jackson County Coroner's Office.

As reported by Steamboat Radio, the strike killed the animals and 51-year-old Mike Morgan, who had just finished branding cattle and was starting to feed them when lightning struck. It knocked about 100 head of cattle off their feet, killing 34 of them.

Rancher and more than 30 head of cattle killed by lightning strike in Jackson County

The first call to 911 came in around 2:08 p.m.

He was on the board of the North Park Stockgrowers Association, according to the group's website. The association works to promote and protect the livestock industry.

Jackson County Coroner George Crocket told Steamboat Radio that a storm blew in northwest of Rand Saturday afternoon.

The National Weather Service (NWS) out of Boulder noted the storm as it moved east on Saturday, and warned people in the foothills and Font Range to go inside if they heard thunder.

The NWS reported that based on data starting in 1980, lightning kills two people and injures 12 on average every year in Colorado. El Paso County sees the most lightning-caused fatalities.

In an average year, lightning strikes the ground in Colorado about 500,000 times, the NWS said.

In 2019, Denver7 looked at the parts of Colorado that see the most lightning. Watch that below.

What parts of Colorado see the most lightning?

Denver7 is working to learn more. Stay with us for updates.

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