Local news

Thunderstorms sparking fires throughout region

Thunderstorms north of Spokane County sparked 34 fires Saturday and more may be on the horizon as the chance of storms continues Sunday.

The fires were in northeast Washington, including portions of the Colville and Okanogan national forests, said Jill Jones, of the Department of Natural Resources. “We have just been running on a lot of little teeny fires,” she said. “We managed to get on them quickly.”

The largest fire was 6.5 acres in the French Creek area near Brewster, Wash. An air tanker and three helicopters made several water drops before the fire was put out.

National Weather Service forecaster Steve Bodnar said the storm front, which has been mostly stationary in the northern mountainous regions, will begin to drift to the southeast Sunday. “We’ll probably have scattered thunderstorms through most of the afternoon,” he said.

Some areas have been getting heavy rain along with the lightning, but there’s always a risk of fire when lightning strikes, he said.

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