More than 19,500 lightning strikes spark fires in Siskiyou

Skye Kinkade

Several small fires were the result of Wednesday night’s thunderstorms over Siskiyou County, and a red flag warning remains in effect until 11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 for “abundant lightning on dry fuels” in much of the area.

More than 19,500 lightning strikes were recorded in and around Siskiyou County on Sept. 4 and 5, according to a press release from CAL FIRE.

The largest of the fires was dubbed the Butte Incident and was two acres. The smallest was a single snag, CAL FIRE said.

Although Thursday evening’s storm is expected to include rain, the risk of new fire starts remains high, CAL FIRE cautions in the release.

“Lightning and high fire danger will likely result in new fire starts,” the warning, which is issued by the National Weather Service, states. “Gust thunderstorm winds could contribute to fire spread. Despite rainfall, initial attack resources could be overwhelmed and holdover fires are possible.”

CAL FIRE has ordered three strike teams of engines and two strike teams of hand crews for a total of 31 engines, eight hand crews, three bulldozers, multiple overhead and type II helicopters available for response, according to the release.