Lightning storms can bring new fire threat - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lightning storms can bring new fire threat

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Zillah, Wash.-- Lightning is something that fire crews around the central and eastern Washington are constantly dealing with. This year is no different.

Yakima County District 5 Fire Captain Joel Byam says they've already seen a few dry lightning storms, but luckily no major fires.
He says traditionally, lightning season starts mid to late-August and it adds a new fire starter that crews have to contend with. Plus, the high levels of brush this season are also cause for concern.

"We're used to having some of that dry lightning cells come through in August/September and when we get those lightening cells coming through especially up on the ridges... that fuel is really just more like a gasoline that doesn't take much to get it going," said Cpt. Byam.

He says although lightning strikes are not very common, they do happen. People should make sure to have a defensible space around their homes.

Benton County Fire District 2 officials say they also look out for lightning storms, staffing fire houses with more crews when there is a warning.