DENVER (CBS4) – After approximately three weeks of dry weather, precipitation that moved through the area on Thursday caused some unexpected problems in the Denver metro area.

(credit: CBS)

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Officials were forced to close Interstate 270 in both directions for several hours Thursday night when power poles near the intersection with Interstate 70 caught fire. The fires knocked down some of the poles.

Officials with the South Adams County Fire Department said there were 13 electrical pole fires overnight.

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(credit: CBS)

Approximately 50,000 people lost power due to the situation, most for only a short time.

Denver’s official weather station at Denver International Airport recorded .04 inches of rain on Thursday.

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Xcel Energy said after similar fires a year ago that after weeks of dry weather power poles can accumulate gunk that comes from dust, debris and other material. Then when it rains, it can potentially spark a fire.