August 6, 2009 in News, Region

Storms spark small fires, power outages

By The Spokesman-Review

Storms moving throughout the region Thursday ignited several small fires throughout Eastern Washington and knocked down power lines.

Avista Utilities reported more than 700 customers throughout the Spokane area lost power, including more than 300 in North Central Spokane and 260 in Spokane Valley.

About 150 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes were reported by 9 p.m., said Jeremy Wolf, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane.

Fire crews throughout the region were sent scrambling as callers reported lightning-caused brush fires, all reported to be less than an acre, from the West Plains to Liberty Lake, dispatchers said.

Another round of storms is expected today and into the night, but not “as much thunderstorm activity,” as what was reported Thursday, Wolf said.

“There is a low pressure system moving over Idaho and western Montana, but we are on the edge of that system,” Wolf said. Temperatures will remain warm and dry west of Spokane, and cooler and cloudier down south toward Pullman and in North Idaho, he said.

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