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Lightning starts a few small fires but no threat to property, life at this time

July 23, 2012

The round of thunderstorms yesterday and today brought some much-needed moisture to the area— and a few lightning strikes that set off some small fires.

So far, none of the strikes have resulted in fires that are threatening life or property in the Eastern Sierra.
Nancy Upham, the public information specialist with the Inyo National Forest, said the rain helped keep the fires that did start from spreading, and that crews have been working or monitoring all the fires.

“We have had a fixed wing air attack plane up in the air today, and helicopters as well, looking for smokes from yesterday’s thunderstorm,” she said Monday. “The only thing of significance (near the Mammoth area) is about a five-acre fire in the Fish Creek drainage south of Devils Postpile called the Lion Fire.
They currently have helicopters working this fire and have ordered two air tankers.”

The storms hit south of Mammoth hardest, with some activity also near Mono Lake.

“The Biederman Fire in the Bodie Hills is now 18 acres (not the 40 reported yesterday) and all is looking good on that Bureau of Land Management fire,” Upham said. “There are a few other scattered single tree fires, but all have people on them at this time.”

The National Weather Service noted that the Crowley Lake area received about 1.3 inches of rain yesterday, with the Mammoth Yosemite Airport counting about .7 inches.

The rain is expected to diminish rapidly Monday night, with drier and warmer weather in the forecast for the rest of the week.

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