Yesterday, northern California was pummeled by hundreds of lightning strikes from thunderstorms that provided little to no rain in many areas. As a result, dozens of lightning sparked fires erupted in the Eastern Sacramento foothills. Amador, El Dorado and Calaveras Counties were some of the hardest hit areas. Nearly two dozen wildfires were sparked in those counties, all of which fire crews contained to relatively small acreage. The thunderstorm system also brought with it strong winds, which caused the 16 Complex Fire in Colusa County to double in size overnight.
Earlier this week, CAL FIRE increased firefighter staffing ahead of the predicted dry lightning and Red Flag Warning to respond to the potential increase in fire activity. Despite the strong winds and dry conditions, firefighters were able to contain the lightning-sparked fires to relatively small acreage. Though most of the thunderstorms have moved out of the area, the potential for new lightning fires still remain high today.