The lightning strike that sparked Tuesday’s was a quiet sleeper that waited a few days before unleashing its fury, a Cal Fire official said today.
Cal Fire spokesman Glenn Barley said a lightning strike earlier this week ignited the 3,000-acre Buck Fire that is currently burning in Southwest Riverside County, but it wasn't until about 1 p.m. Tuesday when heat, moisture and wind created the perfect storm for flames to unfurl.
It's not all that unusual for a lightning strike to smolder for a few days during damp weather, only to ignite when conditions grow warmer and dryer, Barley explained, noting that the phenomenon is known as a “lightning sleeper.”
But in Southern California, there are not a lot of lightning storms.
Barley could not say for certain when the lightning strike that triggered Tuesday’s blaze actually took place, but he acknowledged that strikes this past weekend are likely culprits.
Oppressive heat and humidity, thunder and lightning storms, and even a few “microbursts" -- more commonly called funnel clouds or small tornados by laypeople -- slammed the region.
Meanwhile, Mother Nature’s rage continues. There are currently no estimates on when firefighters might gain the upper hand on the Buck Fire, which is currently at 15 percent containment. The blaze broke out in a remote area of Aguanga, and has destroyed four structures and injured five people, including three firefighters.
for the latest news on the fire, which provides the most updated stats on containment and acres burned.