Lightning storms strike Klamath, Lake counties

A powerful storm peppered the Klamath Basin with lightning Monday night, sparking fires and knocking out power to thousands.

The storm rocked Klamath Falls shortly after sundown.

“We’re going to be extremely busy today,”said Randall Baley of the Oregon Department of Forestry. “We were busy most of the night.  We had about a half a dozen new starts just within the Klamath proper area.”

Fire crews were called out to 72 smoke reports in Klamath and Lake counties.

The largest fire is the Crane Creek fire, burning 250 acres 4 miles south of Lakeview.

Baley says crews will be keeping an eye out for ‘sleeper’ fires, which could smolder for several days. “We do have recon aircraft that will be flying the whole entire unit, we’ll be doing multiple flights today just to make sure that we’re catching them as they pop up.”

The storm also knocked out power to nearly 13,000 customers in Klamath Falls.

The basin could see a repeat performance.

“We’ve got some heat coming back in today,” Baley added. “We’ll have some afternoon chances of thunderstorms again.”

 

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