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Severe Lightning Sparks Several Area Fires

Sonora, CA – Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the U.S. Department of Forestry have their hands full following last night´s thunderstorm.

Pat Kaunert with the Forest Service says five fires have been spotted in the Stanislaus National Forest after more than 600 lighting strikes.

The largest fire was last reported at about three acres south of Salt Springs Reservoir on the Calaveras ranger district. Three type-one handcrews are on scene along with three Forest Service Helicopters and an air attack.

Kaunert says the other fires are each less than an acre in size and no property or safety is being threatened. Three of those fires are burning on the Groveland Ranger District around Cherry Lake and south of Crane Flat. The fourth is reportedly burning on the Mi-Wok district.

Kaunert says rangers will be conducting aerial reconnaissance for the rest of the week seeking additional spot fires.

Meanwhile, CDF spokesman Richard Imlach says his agency responded to a burning tree on Parrots Ferry Road in Columbia and another incident in West Point.

No injuries were reported.