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Lightning-sparked fires now burning over 37,000 acres in Northern California

Thunderstorms sparked multiple fires throughout Northern California over the past week.
Credit: PG&E

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Thunderstorms throughout Northern California are now responsible for several fires burning in the area.

Fuel is extremely dry with extreme and excessive drought conditions covering the mountains and Sacramento Valley.

Fires can start easily with one strike and spread rapidly with gusty winds around thunderstorms.

Here is the latest on the lightning sparked fires:

  • Lava Fire-started June 25, 2021 3.5 miles northeast of Weed, CA. It has burned 24,757 acres and is 52% contained.
  • Tennant Fire-started June 28, 2021 3 miles northwest of Bray, CA. It has burned 10,407 acres and is 33% contained. 
  • Beckwourth Complex Fire-became a complex fire July 4, 2021 and is burning 3 miles northeast of Beckwourth, CA. This started as two separate fires, both sparked by lightning. The Dotta Fire started June 30, 2021. The Sugar Fire started July 2, 2021. The two are burning close enough together to become one complex. Together, they are burning 1,141 acres and with 24% containment.
  • East Fork Fire-started July 1, 2021 15 miles south of Gardnerville, NV. It has burned 1,100 acres and is 30% contained.

Another fire causing evacuations in Northern California is the Salt Fire. This one is still under investigation but was possibly started by a vehicle dragging parts and sparking dry brush on the side of the road. It has burned 9,162 acres and is 15% contained.

RELATED: Shasta County Salt Fire nears 10,000 acres burned

These fires all show how fragile conditions are as we dig deeper into the drought. Long-term climate trends now show the rainy season doesn't typically start until almost November.

Fire officials are continuing to encourage us to prevent the fires we can since we can't control thunderstorms and lightning sparking fires. The recommend the following:

  • Never mow in dry grass and before 10a.m. if humidity is high and winds are light
  • Watch for dragging vehicle parts and never drive over dry grass
  • Properly dispose of campfires and cigarettes
  • Obey local burn bans

RELATED: East Fork Fire activity slowed overnight as area received moisture


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