Thunderstorms bring lightning fires to Kern Valley area

Thunderstorms bring lightning fires to Kern Valley areaUS Forest Service – The Peak Fire in Kern River Valley broke out Monday near Piute Peak. Now under investigation the fire had grown as of Thursday to approximately 2,000 acres, and remained active at that time with smoke columns visible to surrounding communities. An evacuation warning is in place for the area of Piute Peak.

Kern County Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service are currently in Unified Command. CAIIMT-11 a Type 2 incident management team was briefed.

While firefighters continued to assist with the Peak Fire, Kern River Ranger District crews continue to discover new lightning fires. This week’s thunderstorm ignited multiple fires within the district and surrounding area. All fires are in full suppression mode. According to Alfred Watson, Kern River Ranger District, fire crews are actively working to suppress all fires and using additional resources stationed on the Forest.

Fire aviation personnel are conducting a reconnaissance "recon" flight, looking for additional starts. Recon flights will continue as fire management personnel deem necessary.

An evacuation warning was in place for the area of Piute Peak. Kern County Fire Department, Bureau of Land Management and Sequoia National Forest are in Unified Command.

This wildland fire is 10% contained.

Laura Austin photo: A continuous lightning show covered the sky from north to south across the valley and lasted throughout Monday evening. Adding to the drama, the lightning flashes were frequently followed by rolling thunder.

Story First Published: 2021-07-23