Hundreds of lightning strikes from Wednesday’s thunderstorm sparked fires between El Dorado and Amador Counties.
Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant wrote in an e-mail that ”northern California was pummeled by hundreds of lightning strikes from thunderstorms that provided little to no rain in many areas.” The strikes led to “several small fires,” Berlant later said in a phone interview with the Mountain Democrat. “Between El Dorado County and Amador County, there were 13 fires that burned three acres.” He said that there were about 300 lightning strikes over the course of the storm.
“El Dorado and the Sierra foothills were the hardest hit,” he said. “Fortunately, we had a red flag warning in effect.”
As a result, personnel on duty had been increased and reserve engines were staffed, he said, adding to available resources.
Colusa County, also hit by lightning strikes, added the fire count to nearly two dozen, Berlant wrote, causing a fire that had already been burning to nearly double in size to over 7,200 acres. It is 10 percent contained, and part of Highway 16 remains closed as a result.
Berlant also updated fires in other counties that local members of Cal Fire firefighters have been assisting on. The North Pass Fire in Mendocino County, burning nearly 42,000 acres, is 68 percent contained, and the Bagley Complex Fire in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, about 45,300 acres, is 67 percent contained. Both are expected to be fully contained by Sept. 10.