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Calif. Firefighters Ready To Battle More Weekend Fires

August 23, 2013

By The Redlands Daily Facts

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Thunderstorms expected to hit the region this weekend have fire officials ready to respond if necessary.

Last weekend`s storms sparked 22 fires in the San Bernardino National Forest, including the Gobblers Fire, which was still burning at 300 acres in Lytle Creek area on Friday.

The fire was reported after 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Hand crews, fire engines and helicopter water drops from the U.S. Forest Service and Cal Fire with the assistance of local departments, have been used to subdue the flames burning in the area, said fire officials.

Aerial reconnaissances flights conducted daily by the Forest Service assist with the detection of new lightning related fires, as well.

Flights are part of normal operating plans after lightning storms, fire officials said.

Storms are expected to hit the area Saturday afternoon and continue through Monday night, said Noel Isla, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in San Diego.

"Some of the thunderstorms can produce a brief heavy rainfall ... with a threat of flash floods," he said.

Given the chance of lightning-related fires, resources are at the ready just in case, said Cal Fire spokesman Bill Peters.

Cal Fire hasn`t "discussed a certain staffing pattern to make sure our resources are ready to respond in a strike team fashion," he said. "But as it is, all our resources are here and available to us so we can respond rapidly to any situation that may occur."

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Copyright Redlands Daily Facts (CA) 2013

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Story image: An air tanker drops fire retardant on a hot spot as firefighters continue to battle a wildfire near Banning, Calif. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

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