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Forecast Of Lightning In California Brings Wildfire Concerns

Photo by Eric G. LaPrice

The Cabin Fire is burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness of the Sequoia National Forest. The fire was started by lightning July 30.

Photo by Eric G. LaPrice

The National Weather Service says monsoonal moisture is spreading into the Sacramento region, bringing mountain thunderstorms through Monday.

And lightning from thunderstorms could start fires. 

"It does look like the bulk of the storms are going to be in the mountains," says Eric Kurth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. "There might be a few stray showers in the valley, thunderstorms should be pretty much in the mountains. Definitely where there's lightning we do have concerns about fire starts." 


Kurth warns people to be wary of thunderstorm and lightning activity.  

"There'll be a lot of people up in the mountains, boating and hiking and camping this weekend," says Kurth. "And so we really want to make people aware of the hazard and just urge them to go for cover the second they hear thunder or see any lightning."

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Lighning-Caused Wildfires In California

Several wildfires in California were started by lightning July 30.

In the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, officials reported that between 9 a.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday, the forest received over 223 lightning strikes, starting 60 fires, "mostly located from the Yolla Bolly Wilderness north through the Trinity Alps."

Another lightning-caused fire, the Cabin Fire, has burned 1,900 acres in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest. Portions of the Golden Trout Wilderness are now closed to protect backcountry travelers.  

Fires were also started by lightning July 30 in the Modoc National Forest and in Mendocino and Humboldt counties. 

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