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Lightning, drought main culprits in Northern California wildfires

Lightning, drought main culprits in Northern California wildfires

In drought-plagued Northern California, "dry thunderstorms" — lightning and wind with very little rain — are the main cause of roughly two dozen large blazes that have led to one firefighter's death and prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. The storms, which seem particularly cruel in a region suffering through a historic dry spell, are expected to continue through the weekend, forcing nearly 9,000 firefighters engaged in the battle to keep an eye on the sky as they confront the burning ground around them. "We've had lightning throughout the state," said Lynne Tomachoff, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry...

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