Calmer conditions expected |

Calmer conditions expected

Dry lightning and isolated thunderstorms forecast for Tuesday night should give way to drier, calmer conditions today.

Meanwhile, lightning strikes sparked 13 small fires in remote areas throughout the Tahoe National Forest Tuesday, according to National Forest personnel.

And firefighters battling the 22,400-acre Antelope Complex Fire in Plumas County were relieved when thunderstorms with gusty winds failed to push the fire over containment lines and ignite more spot fires.

“We had a thunderstorm pass over the fire this afternoon, but the containment lines are holding splendidly,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Angela Dillingham said from the Calfire headquarters at the scene. “There was some sprinkling. It dampens the fire behavior, but doesn’t put the fire out.”

The fire was 21-percent contained on Tuesday, with no estimated date for full containment. Hot and dry conditions continued to challenge the 1,487 people fighting the fire.

The blaze is located midway between Portola in Plumas County and Susanville in Lassen County. The fire started last week when lightning strikes ignited a half dozen spot fires. Fire crews extinguished some of the smaller fires, while others merged into the Antelope Complex, spokeswoman Sabrina Stadler said.

An unknown number of campers and residents living in three summer communities around Antelope Lake were evacuated over the weekend. So far, one small cabin has burned and one firefighter has been injured.

Fire managers are using roads, natural fuel breaks, hand crews and tractors to clear out fuel areas and suppress the fire.

Tahoe Forest sparks up

The majority of the fires sparked by lightning in the Tahoe National Forest were in the east side of forest in higher altitudes, Westling said.

Two fires were near the Sierra Buttes; one near Salmon Lake and one near Little Deer Lake. Nine fires were near reservoirs east of Truckee and Sierraville, near Sardine Lookout and near the Sierra Brooks subdivision south of Loyalton.

Two fires were sparked east of Foresthill, one on Redstar Ridge and one south of French Meadows Reservoir.

None of the fires threatened homes or structures, Westling said.

System blankets region

Locally, weather conditions should be partly cloudy today and Thursday with temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s, said Harry Stockman, meteorologist of Qwikcast in Sacramento. Temperatures will heat up to the 90s by Friday and Saturday, he said.

Tuesday’s windy, threatening weather – expected to pass off to the north by today – isn’t unusual this time of year for the Sierra foothills, Stockman said.

Low pressure off the Northern California coast and high pressure in the desert southwest forced muggy air and isolated thunderstorms into the Sacramento Valley and the Sierras, Stockman said.


Staff Writers Dave Moller and Robyn Moormeister contributed to this report. To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail or call 477-4234.

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