Lightning Strikes

Numerous lightning strike fires have ignited this am in SB and SLO counties. Supposedly, the storm is moving north, per a VWA observer in SLO, and radar posted below supports this. Reports for Monterey County are clear, although the unstable weather pattern is predicted to remain throughout today and this evening in the counties to our south. I have heard what MAY be distant thunder up here, but haven’t checked the static on my AM radio to be certain.

12:15 pm – well, it is here. I can see rain out at sea and increasing clouds, getting darker to the south. I am definitely hearing thunder, now, also. Don’t need to check my AM radio.

1:00 pm – sprinkles, rare thunder. Let’s hope it continues — the sprinkles, not the thunder. Haven’t seen any strikes, but watching for them.

2:00 pm – passed through rather gently and moved on. Seems to be mostly out-to-sea, now.

See the comment section for a report from KSBY about the storm and resulting fires.

Here is the radar shot (please note times of radar shots):

3 thoughts on “Lightning Strikes

  1. As reported on KSBY in SLO:

    3:55 p.m. The U.S. FOREST SERVICE reports that there are still three fires burning in the Los Padres National Forest area. The largest is currently at about 60 acres, the Buckhorn Fire. It is about a mile northeast of Bear Camp. The other two fires are smaller, between two to five acres.

    There are currently 80 firefighters on the ground. Another 170 are being ordered.

    There are seven air tankers helping fight the fires. One more is being ordered. Four helicopters are being used, and another helicopter is being ordered to the fires.

    3:45 p.m. CAL FIRE/SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY FIRE released the following information on the multiple lightning-sparked fires burning in San Luis Obispo County:

    The Orcutt Fire in Morretti Canyon burned approximately 37 acres of grass and oak woodlands. Cal Fire crews have contained and extinguished the fire and will be on watch overnight and Saturday morning.
    The Cuesta Fire at the base of the Cuesta Grade was contained and extinguished by Cal Fire crews at approximately eight to 10 acres.
    The Horton Fire above San Luis Obispo High School was a 50′ by 50′ spot of grass. San Luis Obispo City Fire and Cal Fire have contained and extinguished the fire.
    The Edna Fire at Edna Ranch Circle was a small spot of grass put out by PG&E.
    The Coyote Fire in the Suey Creek area was a small spot of grass extinguished by Cal Fire.
    The Round Fire on the ridge to the east of Orcutt Road one mile south of the Orcutt Fire was an approximately three and a half-acre grass fire that has now been contained and extinguished by Cal Fire.
    3:20 p.m. POWER OUTAGES: A total of 155 PG&E customers are still without power. The largest outages are in San Luis Obispo. There are 74 customers in the Pismo Beach area and 30 customers along Suey Creek Road without power. The rest are scattered all throughout San Luis Obispo County.

    2:45 p.m. ROAD CLOSURES: California Highway Patrol advises Highway 166 is closed at Tepusquet Canyon Road, and Tepusquet Canyon Road is closed at Santa Maria Mesa Road. These are both due to the lightning fires in the area. No estimate on when they will re-open.

    11:10 a.m. SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY FIRE state the Orcutt Road fire, in the area of Lopez Lake and Morretti Canyon, is still about 20 acres, though forward progression has been stopped. However the fire is not yet contained.

    The fire behind San Luis Obispo High School is now called the Horton Fire and stands at two to three acres. Crews are on scene and forward progress has been slowed.

    The Cuesta Grade fire is about ten acres on the east side of Highway 101. Forward progress has been stopped, but the fire is not considered contained. Air support is doing lightning reconnaissance in the area.

    A new fire has stared on Coyote Springs Road, called the Coyote Fire. It is expected to be a spot fire with a one to two acre potential.

    The Tepusquet Canyon fire has been surrounded with fire retardant.

    More air support is doing reconnaissance along Highway 166.

    9:10 a.m. SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY FIRE is expecting an air attack on the entire county within the hour. The Cuesta Grade fire is at approximately one acre and is moderately spreading. Crews have evacuated at least one house off the Cuesta Grade.

    San Luis Obispo County Fire confirmed the following fires are burning: the largest fire is on Orcutt Road, cross street is Morretti Canyon, approximately 25 acres are burning there. There is a small vegetation fire burning behind San Luis Obispo High School. Santa Barbara County’s Tepusquet Canyon fires are still burning. And the Cuesta Grade fire.

    8:45 a.m. POWER OUTAGES: 467 customers are out in 22 separate outages between Santa Maria to San Luis Obispo, all along Highway 101. Crews are either on site or on their way to the largest outages. These power outages are all due to lightening causing the fuses to blow.

    8:30 a.m. ROAD CLOSURES: California Highway Patrol advises Highway 166 is closed at Tepusquet Canyon Road, and Tepusquet Canyon Road is closed at Santa Maria Mesa Road. These are both due to the lightning fires in the area. No estimate on when they will re-open.

    8:30 a.m. According to Santa Barbara County Fire, there are several small fires burning in Tepusquet Canyon. Crews are concerned about the fires in the middle of the canyon – no evacuations have been announced yet, but potential for evacuations.

    8:00 a.m. According to one firefighter on the ground, reporting on the scanner, there are currently five fires burning in Santa Barbara County.

    8:15 a.m. According to San Luis Obispo County Fire, there are multiple fires in the Lopez Lake and Edna Valley areas. Several fires are in the Orcutt Road area of Lopez Lake.

    8:15 a.m. CUESTA GRADE AREA: According to scanner traffic, there is a vegetation fire at the base of the Cuesta Grade on the northbound side of Highway 101.

    8:15 a.m. SAN LUIS OBISPO HIGH SCHOOL: According to Cal Fire a vegetation fire has been reported behind San Luis Obispo High School.

    8:15 a.m. MONTEREY STREET: Another fire was reported on scanner traffic on the hill above Monterey Street, off northbound Highway 101

    A fairly active cluster of thunderstorms is working its way across the Central Coast this morning.

    Brief periods of heavy rain is also possible through mid-morning with another chance to see activity in the late afternoon.

    Most locations will see just clouds and dry conditions, but isolated chances remain throughout all of San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County.

    If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning – limit activity outdoors if you can.

    Two fires have been reported as a result of this complex of thunderstorms near Highway 166 and crews have been dispatched to the area.

  2. Ha, ha…and today, I got on top of my work, which has suffered, but which is s-l-o-w-l-y getting back on track.

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