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Lightning Sparks Wildfire Concerns in the Sierra

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- Thunderstorms produced hundreds of lightning strikes throughout the high Sierra Tuesday, especially near the California-Nevada border.

Most of this summer’s thunderstorms have been accompanied by rain, reducing the risk of lightning-related fires. But Tuesday’s storms produced some dry lightning.

A series of lightning-sparked fires were reported in Western Nevada.

One fire just south of Spooner Summit was very small. Helicopters could be seen dropping water on it until sunset.

Another wildfire threatened businesses in Carson City. Firefighters were able to knock it down quickly.

To the east of Carson City, a massive smoke plume could be seen rising into the night sky from a desert wildland area.

Firefighters in the Sierra will stay on alert for lightning-sparked fires long after the thunderstorms pass.

“Days and days really,” explained Battalion Chief Jim Drennan of South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue. “They can just kind of smolder in the duff. And so because of that we can see a fire start up long after the storm came through.”