More than 800 fires sparked by lightning in California
SAN FRANCISCO ” Firefighters battled fires throughout Northern California on Tuesday, from Mendocino County south to the Big Sur area in Monterey County, after an “unprecedented” lightning storm sparked more than 800 wildfires.
Thousands of firefighters battled the blazes on the ground and from the air and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday that he was alarmed by the number of fires that kept erupting.
“This is an unprecedented lightning storm in California, that it lasted as long as it did, 5,000 to 6,000 lightning strikes,” said Del Walters, assistant regional chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Firefighters from neighboring states have arrived to help, mostly firefighting aircraft, from Nevada and Oregon after being requested over the weekend.
Schwarzenegger said he had enlisted the help “because you can never prepare for 500 or 700 or 800 fires all at the same time.”
One fire started in Napa County and moved into Solano County, where it continued to burn outside of Fairfield.
After consuming more than 4,000 acres, the fire is 60 percent contained, said Karen Stasko, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
No homes have been destroyed, and voluntary evacuations have been lifted.
Another wildfire in a rural area of Lake County has scorched more than 10,000 acres. No homes have been destroyed, but voluntary evacuations are in place for residents of 36 homes.
Another fire is burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, about 160 miles north of Sacramento. It has threatened about 1,200 homes and several youth camps and forced evacuations.
In Monterey County, a fire south of Big Sur was only 3 percent contained after consuming 7,015 acres since it was first reported Monday.
And a wildfire west of King City in Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest was 66 percent contained after burning 57,745 acres.
It also led to an emergency airlift Sunday of eight endangered California condors. U.S. Coast Guard helicopters transported the seven juveniles and one adult bird from a wildlife center to the Monterey Airport.
The governor declared a state of emergency in Monterey and Trinity Counties on Monday.