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Update: Overnight Lightning Storms Pack A Punch, Nearly 7,000 Without Power

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Update at 10:15 a.m.: CAL Fire reports that ground crews have reached the vegetation fire burning in the Groveland area of Tuolumne County. It is an eighth of an acre in size and smoldering. Crews had to hike in rough terrain to get to the flames in the remote area along Big Creek Shaft and Prospect Heights, off Ferretti Road. They will remain on scene monitoring and working toward containment. What ignited the blaze is under investigation. Details on a widespread power outage in the Mother Lode impacting nearly 7,000 PG&E customers can be viewed below.

Original post at 8:46 a.m.: Sonora, CA – Many in the Mother Lode are waking up to no power this morning, while fire crews are battling a vegetation fire in the Groveland area.

Fire in the Groveland area of Tuolumne County
PG&E live camera

The blaze ignited around 8:30 a.m. along Big Creek Shaft and Prospect Heights, off Ferretti Road. There are currently no details on the fire’s activity, and CAL Fire reports that it is in a remote location that will take time to access. We’ll have an update as soon as more information comes into the newsroom.

The PG&E power outages began last night as a lightning storm due to Tropical Storm Hilary blew through. In Tuolumne County, 3,660 customers are without electricity, stretching from Sonora to Jamestown to Groveland. Most of those impacted are along Highways 49 and 120.

In Calaveras County, 3,073 customers are without power, stretching from the Arnold to Murphys and Carson Hill areas. Those impacted are mostly along Highways 4 and 49. Additionally, in Mariposa County, on the east side of Lake McClure, there are 258 customers without lights.

The utility reports that crews are assessing the situation, and most have a noon to 2 p.m. restoration time. Currently, the company has not given a cause for the outages.

Of note, yesterday there were two small fires in Calaveras County that fire crews put out quickly. The first broke out around 4:30 p.m. along Highway 49 near Carol Kennedy Road in the San Andreas area near the Calaveras County Airport. The forward rate of spread was stopped within minutes of the crews’ arrival at under an acre. The second began around 9:30 p.m. in the Angels Camp area along Highway 49 near Whittle Road. Crews were able to quickly stop the forward rate of spread at 5 acres. The cause of both fires is under investigation.

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