Lightning, contained fires in Tahoe National Forest |

Lightning, contained fires in Tahoe National Forest

Four fires that broke out over the weekend in the Tahoe National Forest have been contained or controlled, according to officials with the Tahoe National Forest.

Furthermore, about 106 lightning strikes occurring throughout the forest may have caused sleeper fires, which could flare up when the rain abates and conditions dry out, said Ann Westling, TNF spokeswoman.

On the east side, a fire broke out south of Loyalton and just east of Sampede Reservoir over the weekend, Westling said. On the west side, two small fires near Bullards Bar were contained and crews began clean up operations.

In Northern California, the wildfire season got off to an early start with the Panther Fire starting Wednesday, May 1.

Three more large wild land fires are active in Southern California, according to the Cal Fire website.

“The conditions right now are what we should be experiencing in June,” said Chief Ken Pimlott,Cal Fire Director. “This year’s dry winter has resulted in a significant increase in fire activity. In fact Cal Fire firefighters have responded to nearly 1,100 wildfires this year, which is over 500 more than average.”

The Panther Fire is located about 8 miles northwest of Butte Meadows in Tehama County.

As of Monday morning, the nearly 7,000-acre fire is listed at 60 percent containment. Full containment is expected to be achieved on Thursday, the latest Cal Fire report stated.

About 1,800 firefighters are on scene fighting the blaze and three injuries have been reported.

Additional showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout Monday, tapering off throughout the week.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email

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