SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Numerous lightning strikes sparked fires across Northern California and sent firefighters scrambling to contain the flames before they could spread.
Fire officials put crews on high alert Friday due to the potential for dry lightning and gusty winds, a recipe for wildfires in the Sierra forests and foothills. At least 100 extra firefighters will be on standby for the next 24 hours.
Firefighters are already fighting at least six lightning-sparked fires in Contra Costa County and Alameda County, the largest of which is a 20-acre blaze in Morgan Territory, according to CAL FIRE.
A Stanislaus County fire broke out near Highway 4 at Milton Road at about 7:00 p.m., quickly spreading to 500 acres, but it is unclear if lightning is to blame for the blaze. Firefighters protected several structures from the flames and halted the fire’s forward progress by Friday night.
“This is going to be extreme critical fire weather, meaning if a fire breaks out it can easily spread and become a large and damaging wildfire,” said CAL FIRE spokesman Daniel Berlant.
Approaching lightning forced players and spectators at the junior varsity high school football game between Stagg High School and Franklin High School to take cover in the latter school’s gymnasium until the storm cell passed.
No injuries due to the storm have been reported.
The dangerous conditions could last through Sunday.