Lightning causes small fires in Tahoe National Forest |

Lightning causes small fires in Tahoe National Forest

Matthew Renda

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. — Four fires that broke out over the weekend in the Tahoe National Forest have been contained or controlled, officials said Monday.

Further, about 106 lightning strikes occurring throughout the forest may have caused sleeper fires, which could flare up when the rain abates and conditions dry out, said Ann Westling, TNF spokeswoman.

On the east side, a fire broke out south of Loyalton and just east of Stampede Reservoir over the weekend, Westling said. On the west side, two small fires near Bullards Bar were contained and crews began clean up operations.

In Northern California, the wildfire season got off to an early start with the Panther Fire starting Wednesday, May 1.

Three more large wild land fires are active in Southern California, according to the Calfire website.

“The conditions right now are what we should be experiencing in June,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Calfire Director. “This year’s dry winter has resulted in a significant increase in fire activity. In fact Calfire firefighters have responded to nearly 1,100 wildfires this year, which is over 500 more than average.”

The Panther Fire is located about 8 miles northwest of Butte Meadows in Tehama County. Full containment of the 7,000-acre fire is expected to be achieved on Thursday, according to Calfire.