Lightning started several fires in Northern CA this week. More strikes are on the way

Lightning safety tips

Watch a NOAA video about being safe when thunderstorms and lightning approach.
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Watch a NOAA video about being safe when thunderstorms and lightning approach.

Several wildfires in Northern California were started by a zappy culprit this week.

Lightning, which struck the Shasta-Trinity National Forest more than 575 times between Friday and Saturday afternoon, sparked seven small fires, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

In Lassen County, a blaze that grew over 1,000 acres in a day was ignited Thursday by a lightning bolt, the BLM said. That fire, dubbed the McDonald Fire, was still threatening nearby ranch structures Saturday.

More strikes are already on the way.

The National Weather Service had previously issued a severe thunderstorm warning to Tehama, Butte and Glenn counties. That warning expired around 1:45 p.m. Saturday.

But the Weather Service is continuing to keep an eye on storms in the northern part of the state.

Thunderstorms with lightning are possible until early evening Saturday, according to Weather Service meteorologist Karleisa Rogacheski. But she does not expect many fires to start as a result.

“The fire fuels aren’t 100 percent primed and ready,” Rogacheski said, citing the rain and hail that has been accompanying the storms.

Still, she said, be aware of the possibility and call 911 if you see any blazes.

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Meghan Bobrowsky, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and school funding. She grew up in nearby Davis.