LAKEVIEW, Ore. — Throughout Wednesday night, Klamath and Lake counties saw more than 1,500 lightning strikes as scattered thunderstorms moved through the region, according to the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP).
At least some of those lightning strikes sparked fires, the agency said.
"So far firefighters have identified 10 fires from the lightning activity. All fires are less than one tenth of an acre with firefighting resources on scene," SCOFMP said.
The Fremont-Winema National Forest has confirmed two fires on its land, the Bureau of Land Management has confirmed four fires, and the Oregon Department of Forestry has confirmed four more.
Five of the fires are within three to five miles of some towns and communities in eastern Klamath County. One is about three miles south of Sprague River. Three are between three and five miles of Bly. And another is about three to four miles southwest of Beatty.
More isolated thunderstorms are possible on Thursday afternoon and evening.
"Depending on the amount of moisture associated with the thunderstorms and the vegetation types on the ground, it can take several days for smoke to become visible from a lightning-caused wildfire," SCOFMP said. "Firefighters refer to these fires as 'holdovers.' Firefighters may be responding to new starts and holdovers throughout the weekend and early into next week."
Anyone who spots signs of a possible wildfire can call the Lakeview Interagency Fire Center at 541-947-6315.
"While firefighters are busy responding to lightning fires, it’s even more important to remember always make sure your campfire is dead out and never leave a campfire unattended," SCOFMP said. "More information will be shared as lightning fire response continues."