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Friday, July 26, 2013

The Sierra Nevada received 3,051 lightning strikes in the past 24 hours, with 1,544 strikes recorded on National Forests.

California Lightning Strike Map
The Tahoe National Forest received 132 strikes between 2:30 and 7:30 pm, 98 on the Sierraville Ranger District and 34 for Truckee Ranger District.

The lightning activity is sparking wildfires and mudslides. Several lightning-caused fires are burning in the southern and central Sierra and I80 was closed for several hours due to a mudslide.

The weather outlook calls for isolated afternoon and evening thunderstorms, with light to heavy rains and hail.

For the weekend, a drier SW to NW flow associated with a Pacific NW trough will stabilize and locally cool our weather Sunday into mid next week. This same change will likely increase SW to West afternoon winds east of the Cascade/ Sierras, according to the fire weather forecast.

Yesterday, 19 fires in Northern California, mostly lightning-caused, burned a total of 54 acres. Since the beginning of 2013, 2,454 fires have consumed a total of 20,636 acres. 2,298 of those fires were human-caused and responsible for 20,213 acres burned.

In Southern California, 2,825 fires charred 82,532 acres. Of those, 2,727 fires were human-caused and burned 80,498 acres.

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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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