Lightning starts small fire in southern Douglas County |

Lightning starts small fire in southern Douglas County

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer
Lightening stikes east of Silver Springs Friday night during a thunder storm. The light show lasted for several hours as the storm travelled north through parts of Northern Nevada. Photo by Brian Corley

Lightning lit up Nevada skies this weekend, triggering a small fire in southern Douglas County’s Risue Canyon, according to a spokewoman for the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.

Estimated at about a tenth of an acre, the blaze was extinguished by a passing air tanker Saturday morning. The tanker was on its way to Las Vegas when the fire was spotted and dropped a partial load of retardant.

Most of the lightning activity was east of Carson City, according to Weather Service Specialist Rudy Cruz.

“The lightning started between 1 and 2 p.m., much of it around Hawthorne, Yerington, Churchill County and Lovelock,” he said. “By about 7 p.m. the strikes were widespread and it was over between 8 and 8:30 p.m.”

Cruz said little precipitation came with the storm, the remains of hurricane Alma just off the Mexican coast.

“That moisture was caught in an upper flow,” he said. “As the storm moves north into colder waters, it starts dying. This is a typical summer pattern and when the winds are just right, that moisture is pushed north along the Sierra crest.”

Today’s forecast calls for mostly sunny this morning and partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Highs will be in the mid 70s to lower 80s. Tonight will be partly cloudy. Winds are expected from the west at 10 to 20 mph this afternoon with stronger gusts near thunderstorms.

Sunny skies are expected for most of the coming week with highs in the mid to upper 70s and lows in the 40s, according to Cruz.