Seattle - Lightning has started hundreds of fires in Washington state, and some of the biggest are still raging.

The Foam Creek fire has been burning since last week in the Glacier Peak Wilderness near the Snohomish/Chelan county line.

The Forest Service is keeping a close eye on it, expecting it will burn itself out naturally. Fighting it would be difficult in steep terrain and it's not likely to threaten any structures.

But this weekend brought more lightning and more fires to both sides of the state.

According to the State Department of Natural Resources, in a 24-hour period starting Sunday morning there were nearly 3,000 lightning strikes statewide.

Those strikes started 45 new fires, almost half of them in Western Washington. One of those fires is on a ridgeline about two miles east of the Stevens Pass Ski Area.

In the Stevens Pass area, there were four fires from 15 lightning strikes. For firefighters, the idea is to try to get on the fires early and put them out, especially if there is potential for them to threaten populated areas, highways or power lines.

Carl Cerniglia, a fire weather meteorologist for the National Weather Service, says heavy rains are coming in with a storm system Tuesday night

"It's a very fall-like weather system that's coming in," he said.

A storm packing enough rain could put a damper on big fires like the one burning 12 miles south of Leavenworth, but big fires burning in very dry, heavy fuels don't give up easily.

"It won't put it to an end, some of these fires that have gotten started in heavy fuels, when we get back into a dry pattern again, may resurface again," said Cerniglia.

The good news is that the 21 new fires in Western Washington have all been knocked down and contained.

Wildfire erupt in Eastern Washington

A new wildfire has scorched a long swath of land in Eastern Washington's Lincoln County.

It wasn't immediately clear Monday night whether any structures had been lost, but Sheriff Wade Magers says no injuries have been reported.

Magers says the fire has been estimated at about 12 miles long and a mile or two wide, burning in varied terrain, including pasture and sagebrush.

The fire began southeast of Creston, Wash., about 5 p.m. Monday and was moving to the northeast. U.S. Highway 2 and State Route 25 have been temporarily closed near the fire.

Magers says an unspecified number of people are being advised to be ready to evacuate.

People living in the Rock Creek Ranch area were also advised to prepare for evacuation.

Shelters were being set up at Davenport High School and Creston City Hall.

Another wildfire is burning near Rock Lake Road near the Whitman County and Spokane County line. Both Whitman and Spokane County fire crews are responding.

As of Monday evening, it had burned about 300 acres but was spreading due to high winds.

Severe thunderstorm warning

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Idaho Panhandle and Eastern Washington from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. There is a chance of hail up to 2 inches in diameter, wind gusts up to 70 mph and dangerous lightning.