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The State | IN BRIEF / MORGAN HILL

Grass Fires Triggered by Lightning Double in Size

August 31, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Grass fires sparked by lightning strikes were burning in several rural stretches of the San Francisco Bay Area, doubling in size over the last two days, fire officials said.

Firefighters were battling scattered blazes in Alameda, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties that had burned more than 23,000 acres of grassland as of noon Saturday, the California Department of Forestry said.

Fire officials said late Thursday that the fires had consumed nearly 10,000 acres. On Saturday, containment stood at 65%, with full containment expected Wednesday. Officials believe the fires began Aug. 25 when lightning strikes were reported across the San Francisco Bay Area. The collection of fires is known as the Santa Clara Complex.

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