Sonora, CA – Sparks of lightning have and will continue to be seen in the skies above the Stanislaus National Forest this weekend — already seven fires have been sparked.
More ignitions are anticipated as lightning is forecast for the higher elevations this weekend, according to forest officials. On Friday, Helicopter 517 flew a reconnaissance mission and discovered three fires on the Summit and four on the Calaveras Ranger Districts. They may be visible to travelers on Highway 4 in Calaveras County and 108 in Tuolumne County. As the map below shows, three of the blazes are on the Summit and four areas on the Calaveras District as can be seen on the map below.
Forest Service spokesperson Maria Benech says the fires are small and details, “All fires are currently less than ¼ acre in size and located in remote areas. They are at high elevation with low potential for spread, 1 to 5 acres. Since Monday, the Forest has been hit by 65 lightning strikes.”
Benech adds that 44 of those strikes occurred in a 24-hour period. She says more lightning is predicted through the weekend into Monday, so fire crews will be monitoring the current fires and any others that are sparked.