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Lightning Throughout Northern California Starts 216 New Fires


By: YubaNet

Lightning east of Haypress Valley on August 1. Picture courtesy of Michael Gates.
NEVADA CITY, Calif. August 2, 2009 - 12:54 Update Multiple lightning strikes overnight (2,000) have started a number of fires across the GACC. Nearly 216 new fires have been reported this morning with smoke reports still coming in, according to the Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC).

Precipitation was mostly light, ranging from a few scattered drops to .01 inches in the northernmost part of the state. Most of the fires are single trees or snags. Excellent progress is being made.

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Modoc National Forest and BLM land south of Alturas are all reporting large incidents. A fire in the Los Padres National Forest (250 acres) is for now the southernmost reported incident from last night's lightning.

The amazing picture in this story was taken last night by Michael Gates. To see more of his lightning pictures, please visit his gallery site.

Click on the image to dowmload the fullsize pdf map.
Constant updates on all large incidents can be found in our Fire News section.

Noon Update from SIFC

The Susanville Interagency Fire Center (SIFC) is dispatching ground forces and aircraft to nearly 100 reported fires in the wake of widespread thunderstorms over the past two days.

Lightning detecting equipment showed nearly 1,800 lightning strikes in northeast California over the past 24 hours, with 96 fires reported by mid morning, Sunday, Aug. 2. Saturday evening lightning activity was concentrated in a swath extending northwest from Susanville, but strikes were recorded across the SIFC region.

There were 43 reported fires on the Lassen National Forest, 40 reported blazes on lands protected by the CAL FIRE Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit, 14 fires on Bureau of Land Management public lands, and two reported fires in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

The largest incident is the Dodge Complex, two fires burning about 60 miles northeast of Susanville, about five miles from the community of Madeline. The fires, dubbed Mendiboure and Dodge, have burned about 1,500 acres of grass, brush, juniper and mountain mahogany on public lands managed by the BLM. Some ranch structures were threatened; none were damaged. There is no estimate for when the fires will be contained.

SIFC dispatchers will be sending crews and equipment to reported fires over the next several days, placing heavy demands on fire fighting resources. The National Weather Service predicts more thunderstorms over the next five days.

Fire officials said fire dangers are increasing with continued hot weather, and asked everyone to be very careful with any use of fire outdoors.


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