Three dozen fires sparked by lightning in Northern California


This NOAA satellite image taken Monday shows a ridge of high pressure over the western United States producing clear skies throughout the northern Rockies and central Plains. Underneath the ridge is a surface trough along the California coast. This is producing areas of cloudiness and showers from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest.

(Associated Press)

About 800 lightning strikes sparked three dozen fires in Northern California in less than 24 hours, fire officials said.

The small fires -- the largest being four acres -- started Sunday, prompting the deployment of more than 3,000 firefighters throughout the state, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Crews aggressively attacked the fires –- a tactic that proved to stop flames from growing and spreading.

On Monday, firefighters remained focused on two active wildfires, the Lake fire in San Bernardino County and the Washington fire in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.


Firefighters, however, are concerned about extreme temperatures fore casted this week, so they have suspended all residential landscape debris burning statewide.

Burn piles, they say, often grow out of control, which makes them one of the top causes for wildfires per year.

Lightning was detected late Sunday in parts of Tulare and Fresno counties along the Sierra Nevada mountains, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford, Calif.

Hot and drier weather will bring monsoonal conditions this week, and a chance for continued thunderstorms.


In Southern California, a patch of thunderstorms is expected to pass over parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and Riverside counties. Dry lightning could strike in the San Gabriels and surrounding mountains.

Temperatures could reach 115 degrees Wednesday in Northern California, where residents will see several days of triple digits. By Thursday, a breeze from the Delta will cool the region.

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