Lightning Strikes Youngstown Area, Causes Six Wildfires

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

Firefighters believe lightning, along with the dry weather conditions, combined to start these six fires. Apparently a storm blew up in Youngstown late Thursday afternoon. It didn't bring much rain, just the opposite, flames.

That heavy downpour Tuesday night did little to alleviate the dry conditions that have been created by the lack of rain for most of the spring and summer.

Conditions are overly ripe for wildfire, as people in Youngstown found out Thursday afternoon. At least six lightning strikes started six separate fires. It didn't take long for them to spread.

Richard Turner of the Division of Forestry said, "Not close to any houses at this time, doesn't mean there's not lightning strikes somewhere else. We got a plane that was up, he found these. We initially thought there was two fires. The airplane went up to check them out and we ended up with six. He'll be back in here tomorrow checking for more."

The Division of Forestry brought in three crews equipped with tractors and plows.

Bayou George, Bear Creek and the Bay County Fire Department joined the battle. By late Friday night they'd managed to contain one of the fires, but were still working on the others.

If there's a bright side, the lack of wind and high humidity should help in their battle. Authorities say they'll stay on the scene all night if necessary.

Right now, there are no evacuations, no injuries, and no structures in danger.


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