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Thunderstorms Possible In The Sierra Through The Weekend

Jose Carlos Fajardo
Bay Area News Group
A lightning strike hits surrounding hills in Northern California.

The National Weather Service forecasts possible thunderstorms in the Sierra through the weekend. Lightning strikes may also pose a danger for fire starts.

In August of 2020, nearly 14,000 lightning strikes over one three-day period ignited more than 900 wildfires, including four of the five largest fires in California history. According to Cal Fire’s Shasta/Trinity unit, there were at least eight lightning-sparked fires in the North State last weekend. They were fortunately contained to 11 acres.

John Gaddie, a public information officer with Cal Fire’s Butte County unit, says rain and snow are expected to lessen the threat of this week’s thunderstorms.

“Isolated thunderstorms are a concern, but they’re going to have some precipitation and cooler weather. We know the fuels are dry, but we don’t see much of a potential for large fire growth,” he said.

Gaddie said Cal Fire has additional resources available should any fires occur.

“We’re staffed up appropriately throughout Northern California, and we’ll deal with them appropriately if they occur,”

Looking ahead, he said indications are this will be a very active fire season, especially as we get closer to August. That’s partly because the moisture content of vegetation is already well below normal.