Thunderstorms spark fires near Truckee |

Thunderstorms spark fires near Truckee

Powerful thunderstorms ignited five small lightning fires near Truckee Tuesday afternoon, according to Tahoe National Forest officials.

Over 100 lightning strikes were registered in the Tahoe National Forest on Tuesday, sending helicopters and other firefighting equipment to work dousing three small fires along Highway 89 south and two others near Independence Lake, said Ann Westling of the Tahoe National Forest.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Westling said all five fires remain small at under 1 acre each, and combined efforts of hand crews and air attack are expected to have the fires contained by Wednesday evening.

“The two by Independence Lake are really small ” 20 by 40 feet ” and the ones south of Truckee along Highway 89 and above Cold Stream Canyon are also small,” Westling said.

Calfire spokesperson Gina Chamberlin said Calfire crews have responded to a number of fires around Truckee as well.

Both agencies were flying helicopters and airplanes on “recon” missions Wednesday looking for smoke.

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“We will be looking for fires probably for the next couple of days,” Chamberlin said.