Oregon fires: 800 lightning strikes recorded near Pendleton

Oregon fires: 800 lightning strikes recorded near Pendleton
Douglas Complex on Friday, July 26. Photo by Kyle Reed, DFPA

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Lightning has been pounding Oregon east of the Cascade Range, touching off a few small wildfires.

Meteorologist Joe Solomon of the National Weather Service in Pendleton says 800 strikes were recorded overnight, most of them Thursday morning.

He says at least that many more can be expected Thursday as thunderstorms move through central, north-central and far eastern Oregon. The storms are also expected to bring spotty rains totaling a quarter of an inch or more.

About 40 small fires were reported along the Cascade crest and Central Oregon.

Meanwhile in the forests of southwest Oregon, firefighters and support crews now number more than 4,000 people with more on the way.

Five crews of 10 people each are expected to arrive Friday, five more on Sunday.