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Sunday, July 21, 2013

San Bernardino National Forest Southern California July Lightning Fires (Wildfires)


Incident Overview

Lightning storms passing through Southern California mountains have started small lightning related fires in the San Bernardino National Forest. Firefighters will be working to suppress all of these fires.
Below we have listed each fire from the beginning of the lightning storms that passed over the forest. Each is listed by the name given to the fire, the time the fire was reported, the approximate location and estimated fire size. Any large fires will have a new "incident" started in InciWeb.
The fires are being suppressed by fire engines, hand crews, and helicopter water drops. The US Forest Service is conducting aerial reconnaissance flights each day over the forest to assist with detection of new lightning related fires. The reconnaissance flights are part of our normal operating plan after lightning storms.
July 20
1. 12:49 pm Glenn Fire - 1/2 acre -San Gorgonio Wilderness Area near Angelus Oaks
July 21
2. 5:12 am Snow Creek - single snag - Forest Falls area
3. 5:14 am Sugar - unknown size - Sugarloaf Mountain area - contained
4. 7:47 am Heart - single tree snag - Heart Bar area - contained
5. 8:23 am Larga - single tree snag - north of Big Pine Flats
6. 9:13 am Raywood - single tree snag - Raywood Flat area
7. 9:26 Sugar 2 - single tree snag -Sugarloaf Mountain area just west of Sugar Incident - contained
8. 9:45 am Rock - 1 acre - near Rock Camp north of Lake Arrowhead
9. 12:21 pm Craft - west of Craft Peak 2N13
Lightning is defined as: a visible discharge of electrical energy in the atmosphere in the vicinity of thunderstorms, volcanic eruptions or wildfire convection columns. Lightning results from separation of electrical charges due to turbulence inside a convective cloud.
Lightning strikes are typically categorized by their polarity (either positive or negative) and their direction of travel: cloud to cloud, cloud to ground or cloud to air. Negative lightning strikes are the most frequently observed as cloud to ground (CG) flashes beneath active thunderstorm cloud bases in the vicinity of rain showers. Positive strikes are less frequent but tend to be more powerful and appear to be capable of traveling scores of miles (or sometimes more) from the parent cloud and away from the rainfall.
Lightning poses several threats. Electrocution from the strong electrical current in and near a direct lightning strike is capable of killing humans and animals. Strong currents are also possible in soil, bodies of water, and other conductors in the vicinity of a lightning strike. Lightning is capable of igniting fire and the blast effect from strikes has been known to explosively shatter the bark of trees. Humans incapacitated by a lightning strike do not carry a residual charge and can be safely moved.
The exact locations of thunderstorms are difficult to forecast accurately more than a few hours in advance. The approach of a thunderstorm is commonly heralded by darkening clouds and flashes of lightning accompanied by booms of thunder growing louder and closer. Sometimes lightning is visible without the sound of thunder and at other times thunder is audible without flashes of lightning. Both need to be taken seriously and cover sought before the arrival of a storm.
San Bernardino National Forest 
Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Saturday July 20th, 2013 approx. 12:49 PM

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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