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Lightning starts several small fires Monday

— An afternoon thunderstorm Monday and related lightning strikes ignited several new fires in the Methow Valley.

According to Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest officials, crews were on-scene at four of them by mid-afternoon.

Those fires are:

  • South Ridge Methow — a 0.1-acre fire near Piper Creek.
  • West Buck Mountain — a 0.1-acre fire along Methow Road.
  • Miner's Ridge — a 0.1-acre fire along Entiat Road.
  • French Cabin — a quarter-acre fire off Cle Elum Road.

Forest officials said crews reported the west Buck and Miner's Ridge fires contained at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively.

Another fire, now dubbed the Stokes Road Fire, is being managed by the state Department of Natural Resources.

The blaze was initially reported along Texas Creek Road, about 2.6 miles from Carlton.

Other fires resulting from lightning strikes were reported in the Gold Creek area and Foggy Dew Creek.

"Along with these reported fires were numerous smoke reports which fire suppression resources attempted to find in the field," a Forest Service report said. "These often can lay undetected in deep litter and duff layers on the ground or within trees undetected for days after a lightning event only to pop up later and spread as wildfires.

"People should be aware of these conditions and report wildfires."

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