Lightning-caused fires all under control |

Lightning-caused fires all under control

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra SunA rain shower touches down on the east shore of Lake Tahoe Wednesday. Lightning from an intense thunderstorm caused numerous spot fires in the Tahoe National Forest. Firefighters contained all the fires by Thursday.

Firefighters have now contained all 26 fires in the Tahoe National Forest that were ignited by Tuesday’s lightning storm, a U.S. Forest Service official said Thursday.

On Wednesday, 200 firefighters including eight smokejumpers, and more than a dozen fire engines were deployed to attack the mostly small spot fires, said Forest Service spokeswoman Ann Westling.

The largest fire scorched 5 acres near the city of Loyalton. Firefighters contained the blaze, dubbed the Silver Fire, by Thursday morning.

Most of the fires occurred in the east side of the Tahoe National Forest between Sierraville and Truckee, following the path of a powerful thunderstorm that was responsible for many of the 411 lightning strokes recorded in the national forest Tuesday.

Forest Service planes dropped fire retardant at least once and helicopters flew numerous missions on Wednesday. A reconnaissance plane took to the sky again on Thursday morning but spotted no new lightning smokes.

The Forest Service received support from Sierra City fire department, the California Department of Forestry, a contract crew called Fire Storm and contract engines from Fire Stop. According to an e-mail from Westling, all support units are now headed back to their home agencies.

The weather has cooperated, with no new thunderstorms expected soon near the Truckee area. Westerly winds are expected to gust over 20 mph the next three nights.