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U.S. Forest Service on High Alert for Lightning

Tonight the U.S Forest Service is on its highest alert for thunderstorms set to roll through Siskiyou County over the next two days.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 11:32 PM

KLAMATH NATIONAL FOREST, Cali.- Eight lookout towers are fully staffed to monitor the next two days of intense dry thunder.

Pamela Padula, a 27 year fire lookout veteran says, "Tonight and tomorrow we have level 6 activity levels predicted, and 6 is the worst thing possible you could have this time of year. Generally they're really dry lightning storms and almost always they're pretty bad about starting a lot of fires in the area."

The U.S. Forest Service says its ready to attack any new fires that pop up.

Duane Lyon, a U.S. Forest Service Fire Information Officer says, "Our standing policy when it comes to new fires is all hands on deck. To go get it and do our best to put it out as quick as possible."

But lightning can be tricky, even for the woman who's watched it for nearly 30 summers.

Padula says, "The problem is you can't just sit and look at it thunder sell because they are everywhere around you so when you're looking hear the lightning is happening over here and that's what really helps when you have another look out or somebody on the ground."

11 engines are standing by with six 20 person hand crews on call.

Lyon says, "We've made a special effort to mobilize and be ready for this and at the same time we're dealing with the Natchez Fire on the Klamath National Forest and so fingers are crossed and we are ready."

The Forest Service is now using new digital maps to keep track of where all the lightning strikes hit.

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