Lightning Ignited 36 Fires in NorCal National Forests this Week

It was a busy week for firefighters in Northern California national forests this week, with two days of thunderstorms bringing thousands of lightning strikes to the wilderness. Those lightning strikes, estimated at over 2,000 in the 48-hour span, caused 36 fires in those national forests.

Most of the fires were small, with many limited to just the tree that the lightning strikes hit. But with every one of the 36 fires reported (it’s possible that more may have ignited), a fire crew was on the scenes, mostly smokejumpers finding and detaining fires from the sky.

In the Shasta-Trinity, Klamath, Modoc, Lassen, Six Rivers and Mendocino National Forests, lightning was very active on Friday and Saturday, let’s take a look at each forest’s busy week:

Shasta-Trinity National Forest

The Shasta-Trinity National Forest had by far the most activity of any of the areas, with 578 lightning strikes causing 18 fires over the large national forest.

You can see a list of all of the fires and their size here.

Klamath National Forest

A Klamath NF fire located on the Salmon/Scott ranger district. Photo: U.S. Forest Service

The Klamath National Forest also saw its share of incredible lightning activity on Friday and Saturday, causing 14 fires in the area. Luckily, the thunderstorm also brought a significant amount of moistures, limiting each fire’s reach to just the tree hit by lightning.

Lassen/Modoc National Forests

Between the Modoc National Forest and Lassen National Forest in Lassen County is the McDonald Fire, which was caused by lightning on Thursday and grew to over 1,000 acres. Although the fire grew quickly, firefighters were able to contain it quckly, now sitting at 85 percent.

Also, Modoc National Forest reported three more fires in the South Warner area:

With hundreds of lightning strikes hitting Mendocino, Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity Counties, it’s safe to assume some fires were also ignited in the Six Rivers and Mendocino National Forests. As of now, no fires have been reported by the U.S. Forest Service.

Ironically, many of these fires were started on Smoky the Bear’s birthday:

Active NorCal

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