California: 1,500 Lightning Strikes Ignite 81 Fires over Weekend

September 15, 2009

State fire officials say that more than 1,500 lightning strikes ignited 81 fires in northern and central California over last weekend, but most are contained.

Department of Fire and Forestry Protection officials said more fires are likely because of the lack of rain and possible future lightning strikes.

Spokesman Daniel Berlant says the agency’s Santa Clara unit is fighting 20 fires covering 200 acres that are 35 percent contained. The fire’s progress has been stopped.

Meanwhile, the agency’s Tuolumne-Calaveras unit has fully contained the 200-acre Telegraph Fire near Copperopolis.

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