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Storm-Sparked Fires Keeping Crews Busy

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Lightning strikes from this passing storm front has ignited numerous wildfires in the Mother Lode region this afternoon.

Fire units are working one lightning-caused blaze to the Big Hill Road area of Sonora.

This fire, first reported about 4:45 p.m. this afternoon is burning in the area north of the old Hattler sawmill, off Big Hill Road near the PG and E ditch.

Officials say rain with the thunderstorm has helped keep the fires from spreading too rapidly giving fire crews a chance to get to the fires while still small.

Several other smokes are also being reported in the region. Pat Kaunert with the U.S. Forest Service says Forest Service crews are also busy this evening trying to extinguish more than a dozen lightning-caused fires.

Other fires sparked from the storm include one in the Murphys area off six mile road and Highway 4 near the Hay Station Ranch. It´s about a quarter acre in size. Another is off Mount Elizabeth Road in the Twain Harte area. Fire crews are at both these fires.