UPDATE: Lightning Sparks Several Fires In Tahoe National Forest
Some monsoonal moisture that typically impacts the Sierra drifted a little more West than usual, sparking the lightning storm and some rain overnight and early Monday morning.
Storm cells overnight were producing 25-50 lightning strikes per hour in the valley, 100-200 strikes per hour in the Sierra, according to CBS13 Meteorologist Laura Skirde.
In the past 24 hours, 2,400 lightning strikes resulting in more than 50 fires, according to Cal Fire’s Daniel Berlant. Most are contained at small spots. The largest was in Calaveras County at 30 acres.
Brief, downpours within the storms helped to minimize the fire threat from lightning strikes, but several fires were sparked from lightning including 11 small fires in the Tahoe National Forest.
The fires are all less than an acre and in remote areas of the forest, according to Ann Westling, Public Affairs Oficer for the Tahoe National Forest. About 125 Forest Service firefighters are working to contain the fires.
Additional thunderstorms are expected Monday afternoon and evening.
The lightning also caused some damage in the valley Monday morning. A lightning bolt hit a power pole on 54th Avenue near 24th Street in south Sacramento. Crews were able to restore power fairly quickly.
Lightning also struck a power pole on Taylor Road in Loomis knocking down power lines and power for a short time before crews could repair the damage.
In Orangevale, a tree caught fire after being hit by lightning.
The thunderstorms died down in the Valley by 9 a.m., however, thunderstorms will continue to be a threat in the mountains through the afternoon.