Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Preface to California's Wildfires

The storm arrived on the California Coast last Friday evening with a few puffy white clouds punctuated by occasional flashes of lightning and cracks of thunder. Overall it seemed like a very small scale event, with a few light showers that lasted mo more than a few minutes. I even captured a brief rainbow projected onto one of the clouds as sunset approached.

The clouds seemed to grow a little taller as they climbed the Coast Range, with intermittent thunder rolling in the distance. It was an interesting novelty to have rain at all in June, all the more noteworthy with the rare accompaniment of lightning.

By the following morning, the storm had passed from the coast, although thunder could still be heard to the East. What I didn't know at the time was that the lightning has struck over 8000 times, and over 840 fires were burning in the state, at least 90 in Mendocino County alone.