[UPDATE 11:55 a.m.] Lightning Strikes Pummel Del Norte and Siskiyou
A series of lightning strikes from Klamath across Del Norte County into Siskiyou County raised the danger from fires this morning. According to the National Weather Service, “A few thunderstorms have developed this morning across Del Norte and Siskiyou counties… Dangerous cloud to ground lightning will be the main storm concern.”
Multiple fire resources are headed to the area. At least one “smoke” has been seen but not yet confirmed, according to traffic over the scanner.
As of 9:25 a.m., Happy Camp is being pummelled with strikes. Below is a screengrab of Lightningmaps.com showing over 40 strikes in the previous hour. (Older strikes are dark brown; the newest are yellow with red outer areas. The white rings around those shows where the thunder can be heard at the time the screengrab was taken.)
UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: According to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Marty Hobbs, Humboldt and Del Norte Cal Fire unit has responded to the Orick and Prairie Creek area after a several “positive lightning strikes.” There are no confirmed fires in the area but, Hobbs said, “We’re sending resources up north to be prepositioned should something be found.”
Battalion Chief Laura Coleman said that Cal Fire was assisting with four confirmed fires likely from lightning strikes in the National Forest.
Cal Fire has gone to the Lightning Plan which, she says “allows us to manage the possibility of fires.” The idea with the plan is that a small mobile force is ready to respond to any fires quickly. “We send less resources,” she said, than Cal Fire would normally send to a fire which frees up more resources to be available to other fires that could be set by the same lightning event.
Most lighting fires, she said, are smaller and can be put out relatively quickly even with the lesser amount of resources. “Then if one [fire] continues to grow, we have enough resources available,” she said. Or they can then request more resources.