Tuesday, June 24, 2008
More than 840 wildfires sparked by an "unprecedented" lightning storm are burning across Northern California, alarming the governor and requiring the help of firefighters from Nevada and Oregon.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was told late Sunday evening that the state had 520 fires, and he found it "quite shocking" that by Monday morning the number had risen above 700.
Moments later, a top state fire official standing at Schwarzenegger's side offered a grim update. The figure was actually 842 fires, said Del Walters, assistant regional chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. All but a couple were in the northern part of the state.
"This is an unprecedented lightning storm in California, that it lasted as long as it did, 5,000 to 6,000 lightning strikes," Walters said. "We are finding fires all the time."
Two of the state's biggest fires had each charred nearly 6 square miles. One in Napa County quickly moved into Solano County, and threatened about 250 homes about 40 miles southwest of Sacramento, said Kevin Colburn, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It was 60 percent contained.
The other, in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest about 160 miles north of Sacramento, threatened about 1,200 homes.
The Sun is an orange ball in the sky this morning as fires claim more property.
Mother Nature sent in the lightning bolts and that is all she wrote, has not been the same since. Stinky, smoky air causing folks with Asthma to be confined indoors.
The woods are tinder dry making even the slightest spark a potential million dollar disaster. Someone was mowing their lawn and hitting a rock started a field on fire that burned 10 acres before it could be smothered out.
We are toast.