Lightning strikes lead to several Oregon wildfires

Credit: MtBachelor.com

Lightning strikes lead to several Oregon wildfires

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by Nina Mehlhaf, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 14 at 1:48 PM

PORTLAND -- Thousands of lightning strikes have sparked small fires all over Oregon and southwest Washington. The cooler Sunday thunderstorms are now over, and we'll be heating up into the 90s this week again.

The largest and newest named fire, the Moccasin Hill Fire, is 45 miles outside Klamath Falls, north of Sprague River. It was up to 2,900 acres Monday morning. About 100 people had been evacuated in the Sprague River area after homes and other structures burned.

It started Sunday and fire officials were working to figure out if it was from a lightning strike. Fire officials report a Red Flag Warning in the area for hot, dry conditions this week.

The Warm Springs Indian reservation in Central Oregon saw a thousand lightning strikes Sunday, sparking several fires that are burning near homes.

According to Warm Springs Fire Management, 30 lightning-strike fires were reported on Warm Springs Indian Reservation, nearly all were kept to one or two acres. One fire got up to 168 acres. The termperature on the reservation will reach about 100 degrees Monday.

The White River Fire is 570 acres, burning 15 miles west of Maupin.

More than 3,400 lightning strikes hit in Central Oregon on Sunday. According to the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center, 65 smoke reports were called in Sunday by fire lookouts from Klamath Falls to Warm Springs.

The storm brought a total of nearly 6,600 lightning strikes in Oregon.

The storm also brought penny-sized hail to Bend neighborhoods. Photos posted to Twitter showed hail covering city streets and almost denting cars.

 

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