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Phoenix

Lightning Sparks New Fires in British Columbia, Canada

Lightning ignited 22 new fires in the Prince George Fire Centre yesterday and more are expected due to the continued risk of lightning.

Additional fire fighting crews from around the province have arrived in the region to help with existing fires and expected lightning-caused fires. Two additional unit crews, comprising a total of 40 firefighters, are available for sustained action on larger fires. Five additional three-person initial attack crews are also standing by to respond to smaller fires and new fire starts.

Phoenix

Florida, US: Lightning starts fires in Clay, Nassau

Firefighters are straining to put out a rash of wildfires sparked by lightning in Nassau and Clay counties.

Just days after putting out a 105-acre wildfire near Cedar Point and Pumpkin Hill roads in Nassau County, the state's Division of Forestry battled at least three fires over a total of about 30 acres Wednesday and Thursday. Lightning caused each of the fires, said Annaleasa Winter, a wildfire mitigation specialist for the Forestry Division.

Those come after lightning caused six fires over about 55 acres Tuesday in Clay County.

Cloud Lightning

US: Firefighters keep wary eye on California thunderstorms

Junction City, CA - Scattered showers forecast for California's northern mountains Sunday are unlikely to extinguish wildfires that still threaten homes and could bring more lightning to the charred region, fire officials said.

The weather system is not expected to bring enough rain to have any effect on several huge blazes that have burned for nearly a month, said Pete Munoa, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

A bigger concern is thunderstorms predicted to accompany the system.

But fire officials said cooler temperatures mean lightning strikes don't pose as much of a threat as they did a month ago, when storms sparked nearly 2,100 fires that have burned almost 1 million acres.

"The weather pattern, if it holds the way it is now, we should be able to get a foothold around these fires," Munoa said.

In the rural town of Junction City, residents were under mandatory evacuation orders for a third day Sunday as flames crept across the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The month-old fire had spread to nearly 87 square miles by Sunday and was 49 percent contained.

Extinguisher

US: Lightning starts fires near Okanogan, Washington



Okanogan fire 1
©Chronicle photo by Dee Camp
Fire erupts near Okanogan after lightning storm passes through at 7 p.m.


A brief, fierce lightning storm touched off a fast-moving fire that is threatening structures, the Okanogan County Sheriff's Office's communications system and crops in the Cameron Lake Road area near Okanogan.

The fire began around 7 p.m. July 1 as a lightning storm moved through the valley. It brought scattered rain showers to the mid-valley area and hail to the south end of the county.

Phoenix

Tired firefighters battle 330 California wildfires

Firefighters got a gift of a mild, mostly windless night and a forecast for similar conditions Sunday as they attempted to protect thousands of Santa Barbara County homes from a huge wildfire, one of more than 300 taxing their energy and resources around the state.



firefighters
©AP Photo/Phil Klein
Firefighters watch as a brush fire burns out of control in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Goleta, Calif., on Saturday July 5, 2008. A slew of wildfires, most ignited by lightning two weeks ago, have burned more than 800 square miles of land throughout California. The blazes have destroyed at least 67 homes and other buildings and contributed to the death of a firefighter who suffered a heart attack while digging fire lines.


Chess

UPDATE: Connecting the Dots: The Axis of Evil in Motion Under Peculiar Cosmic Weather



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Update: Dry weather, fires, spontaneous combustion? As it turns out the Taurid meteor event was not a complete bust, more like a combustion:
1st of July 2008 - Witnesses across Southern California say they saw an object 'moving very fast across the northern sky' and falling near the San Bernardino Mountains. Officials have no firm answers on what it was.

From Hollywood Hills to the Nevada state line, people reported seeing a fireball streaking across the sky and falling near the San Bernardino Mountains this morning. But explanations of the mysterious object were scarce.

San Bernardino County Fire Dispatch reported receiving dozens of calls related to what was described as fireball moving at high speed and falling in northwest sky around 10:40 a.m.

"We got quite a few reports. It started with a gentlemen in the Lake Arrowhead reporting a fireball in the Meadow Bay area and then we started getting calls from all over," said San Bernardino County dispatch supervisor Tom Barnes. "Fire crews in Barstow and on I-15 near Stateline came up on the radio and reported an object in the sky moving very fast across the northern sky and described it as yellowish green in color with streaks of debris. It looked like it burned up before it hit the ground."
Now isn't it a "coincidence" that California became engulfed, at its peak, in 1,783 fires across the state, scorching over 527,000 acres, including one in the San Bernardino mountains. Firefighters are still battling over 300 fires. Yet, all the fires are being blamed on "unusual early-summer lightning storms".

Bizarro Earth

US: More Big Sur evacuations after wildfire jumps line

Authorities on Wednesday ordered most of the remaining residents of this scenic coastal community to leave after an out-of-control wildfire jumped a fire line and threatened more homes.

New mandatory evacuation notices were issued Wednesday morning for an additional 10-mile stretch along Highway 1, bringing the total length of the evacuated area to about 25 miles of the coast, emergency officials said.

"The fire is just a big raging animal right now," said Darby Marshall, spokesman for the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services.



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©NASA photo via Associated Press
Fires near Big Sur are shown in a photo from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer instrument on NASA's Terra satellite on Sunday, June 29, 2008. The image combines a natural color portrayal of the landscape with thermal infrared data showing the active burning areas in red. The dark area in the lower right is a previous forest fire.


Firefighters are battling more than 1,100 wildfires, mostly ignited by lightning, that have scorched 680 square miles and destroyed 60 homes and other buildings across Northern California since June 20, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Phoenix

US: Lightning sparks fires in Northern Nevada

Dry, hot conditions and lightning strikes sparked at least seven fires in the Reno-Sparks area Sunday, while smoke from fires in California continued to blow into the Reno area.

Info

Firefighters in stalemate against California blazes

Firefighters in Northern California battled more than a thousand wildfires to a stalemate by Sunday, but forecasters said dangerous conditions would not relent anytime soon.

No new major fires had broken out Sunday as fire crews inched closer to getting some of the largest blazes surrounded, according to the state Office of Emergency Services.



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©AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Brandon Hoefs, of Nebraska, a member of the Mid Plains Interagency fire crew, turns away from a wildfire as it nears the deck of a home on Partington Ridge Rd. south of Big Sur, Calif., Friday, June 27, 2008. Fire crews continue to fight the Basin Complex fire, which is burning in the Los Padres National Forest near the coastal town of Big Sur.


But a "red flag warning" - meaning the most extreme fire danger - was still in effect for Northern California until 5 a.m. Monday. And the coming days and months are expected to bring little relief.

Forecasters predicted more thunderstorms and dry lightning through the weekend, similar to the ones that ignited hundreds of fires a week ago. Meanwhile, a U.S. Forest Service report said the weather would get even drier and hotter as fire season headed toward its traditional peak in late July and August.

Health

Smoky skies threaten health in fiery California

Hundreds of lightning-sparked wildfires have turned the air of Northern California into an unhealthy stew of smoke and ash, forcing the cancellation of athletic events and other outdoor activities.