3,730 Lightning Strikes Ignite Fires Across Northern California

Lightning took center stage over the Sierra and Mendocino regions on Monday, unleashing a total of 3,730 strikes across California. Within the National Forests, the count surged to 2,703 strikes, painting a vivid display of nature’s power.

Here’s a map of the incredible lightning activity:

The Six Rivers National Forest experienced a barrage of lightning last night, on August 14, 2023. As a result, a reported 13 fires are currently scattered throughout the expanse of the forest.

Turning to the Tahoe National Forest, the lightning show sparked the ignition of six fires just yesterday:

  • POLL: This one covers a 20×20 area and is currently under patrol status. Its condition will be closely observed today.
  • WEBER: It’s now lined and staffed for mop-up efforts, occupying approximately 0.5 acres.
  • ENGLISH: This fire, approximately 50×50 in size, is lined as well and will see continued staff presence for mop-up activities throughout the day.
  • OMEGA: This one held its ground at 0.5 acres. Mop-up procedures will carry on today after the area has been lined.
  • MEADOW: A lightning strike set a tree ablaze, resulting in a ground fire measuring 20×20. Swift action from two rappellers kept it under control throughout the night. The area is now lined and the hazardous tree has been dealt with. Truckee Hotshots are on-site, steadily addressing the situation.
  • GRANITE: Visible from Interstate 80, this fire covers less than a quarter acre. Four rappellers stayed vigilant overnight, effectively containing the incident. It is now lined and the mop-up phase is underway. The lightning struck a precarious tree, intensifying the challenge. Crews are focused on managing this hazard, and a 10-person hand crew will be dedicated to the task today.

Within the span of 24 hours, a total of 421 lightning strikes were detected in the Tahoe region:

  • American River Ranger District: 3 strikes
  • Sierraville Ranger District: 61 strikes
  • Truckee Ranger District: 250 strikes
  • Yuba River Ranger District: 107 strikes

It’s expected that additional fires may emerge as lightning-stricken trees can simmer internally for over a week, carrying the potential to flare up again.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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