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Lightning sparks small fires in San Bernardino National Forest

August 19, 2013|By Jason Wells

Crews are battling more than a dozen small fires in the San Bernardino National Forest that were sparked by a lightning storm early Monday.

Many of the incidents were in the form of standing dead trees that were left smoldering by a lightning strike, said Lee Beyer, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

In some cases, embers from some of the smoldering trees ignited small areas of brush underneath. The largest fire of the batch, first reported about 5 a.m., grew to about a quarter of an acre.

“Everything's real small,” Beyer said.

About 55 firefighters had been assigned to suppress the fires as reconnaissance flights patrolled from above, he added.

Across California from Sunday night to Monday morning, lightning strikes have ignited 100 confirmed fires, which have burned a combined 5,000 acres, according to CalFire.

Much of the lightning activity has so far taken place in Southern California as a weather system moves across the region, bringing with it the chance for thunderstorms and, in some areas, small-sized hail Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

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jason.wells@latimes.com

Follow: @jasonbretwells / Facebook / Google+

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