[UPDATE 12:57 a.m.] Over 300 Lightning Strikes This Afternoon, Multiple Reports of Fires

light by Auxier

Ominous clouds southeast of Alderpoint. [Photo by LaDonna Auxier]

Lightning is striking in multiple areas of the Emerald Triangle today. The National Weather Service estimates that there have been over 200 cloud/ground instances this afternoon.

Folks to the east can expect to see more lightning. The Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for isolated to scattered dry thunderstorms through 8 pm for Trinity County. There are reports from readers of strikes north of Laytonville (a fire was reported near the Hog Farm.) Readers in Trinity County are reporting multiple strikes and at least eight smoke columns–one northwest of Ruth Lake.

We’re going to keep a running report of any lightning fires here.

UPDATE 5:49 p.m.: Scanner traffic says, “First confirmed smoke in the Zenia area.” Alderpoint Fire folks have been called to respond.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: Folks near Alderpont are reporting some rain!

UPDATE 6:02 p.m.: We’re up to 300 lightning strikes now.

UPDATE 6:15 p.m.: There is an active storm cell over Zenia according to the scanner.

UPDATE 6:17 p.m.: Scanner traffic says, “Mendocino is working a number of fires in northern Mendocino.” Also, report of a fire east of Fort Seward.

UPDATE 6:18 p.m.: A structure has been struck by lightning at 1206 Casterlin Road. A metal shop was struck. A transformer is down. “Life threat!”

UPDATE 6:24 p.m.: Photo of a rain area north of Willits taken from a plane by Desirae Zuniga.


UPDATE 6:46 p.m.:Weott has lost power.

UPDATE 6:50 p.m.:
Weather Service stating, “Over 30 fires reported. If you live and/or will be driving in interior NW CA, be on the lookout for fire fighting vehicles on the roads.”

Scanner traffic says PG&E Substation in Fruitland is on fire following a lightning strike.

UPDATE 7:08 p.m: “Looking east from Garberville,” photo from Chris Wissing.

11813517_10206891227985406_2039914270826119332_nUPDATE 7:21 p.m.: Fire on Reed Mountain. (Shown below) Another on Pratt Mountain.


UPDATE 7:28 p.m.: Fire above rodeo grounds about 2 miles on East Branch. 1/4 acre grass and timber understory. Another  fire in Blocksburg area.

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.: Numerous fires along Hwy 36, in Benbow and Blocksburg reported per scanner. “May need extra bodies later for evacuations.” Three lightning strikes on eastern side of Gilliam Butte.

UPDATE 7:50 p.m.: Cinnamon Paula, Executive Director of the Garberville Redway Area Chamber of Congress sent multiple photos of fires. She said, “We counted possibly 9 fires on our way toward Harris.”  Here is one of the shots.


UPDATE 8:07 p.m.: Multiple fires as seen from this photo. “Larrabee Ranch sub division, off Sunset Ridge road, about one mile due west of Blocksburg. I was facing southeast-ish,” says the photographer.

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UPDATE 8:11 p.m.: Scanner traffic reports a fire on Cemetery Road off of Alderpoint Road in the Fort Seward area. Structures nearby.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m.: Reminder to not only appreciate the firefighters but the hardworking inmate crews!

UPDATE 8:26 p.m.:

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.:

UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: Scanner says, Barn on fire on Alderpoint Road. Don’t have more precise information. Will try to get it.

UPDATE 8:47 p.m.: Transformers on fire at the Dobins Creek power plant, according to scanner traffic.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: Dobbins structure is on  fire, according to the scanner.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m.: One fire in Bell Springs Road area is contained!

UPDATE 9:27 p.m.: Multiple columns of smoke rising as seen from Peak Road looking north towards Blocksburg. Photo by Hannah Minikel.lf Hannah Minikel

UPDATE 9:29 p.m.: Crews responding to three fires about 15 miles up Blocksburg Road. A structure is threatened.

UPDATE 9:50 p.m.: Natasha Carrico gave us permission to show her video of a helicopter getting water to drop on blaze near the Cal Fire Station at Alderpoint.

As of 9:45 p.m., Carrico writes, “That whole hillside is glowing red. [I]t looks like its about to break at the top of the ridge…almost can see flames.”

“Priortity is going to be behind the Cal Fire Station,” says Cal Fire command over the scanner at 9:53 p.m.”
Here’s a photo of the glow from the fire Carrico sent us. Earlier she said a large number of Alderpoint residents were out watching the firefighters battle this blaze.
lf natasha

UPDATE 10 p.m.: Scanner traffic says line around Casterlin school fire. Contained at a half to 3/4’s of an acre. However, there is another fire near the Blocksburg Church.

UPDATE 10:05 p.m.: National Weather Service tweets, “Estimate nearly 400 lightning strikes in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties this afternoon/evening. Many fires reported.”

UPDATE 10:45 p.m.: Private water tender willing to stay at Casterlin School fire to allow firefighters to go to the next most needed space, says scanner. This is a constant theme. I know two private landowners fighting fires on their land by themselves. The scanner in among the constant firefighters at work breaks out with “locals did this and locals did that.”

Hurrah for the firefighters, the inmate crews and the locals who are right there stomping out fires and cutting line!

UPDATE 10:54 p.m.: 

UPDATE 7/31 12:57 a.m.: Four new fires have been reported in the Alderpoint area, according to scanner traffic. The largest one is “six miles down Alderpoint Road towards Blocksburg.”

UPDATE 7/31  7:18 a.m.: New information on the Lightning Fires posted here.



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