U.S.: Hundreds of lightning bolts struck Oregon’s heat-dried forests, sparking 50 new wildfires

Lightning struck dried-up forests in southern Oregon hundreds of times in 24 hours, sparking about 50 new wildfires, while the nation’s largest wildfire continued to expand uncontrollably.

State, federal and contract firefighters, in addition to helicopters and planes dropping flame retardant, battled new fires in national forests in southwest Oregon before they could get out of control. The largest was estimated to be two acres in size.

The thunderstorm released about 700 bolts of lightning that struck the ground and also brought rain to some places but left others dry, causing numerous fires, said Marguerite Hickman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.

Firefighters and support personnel worked all night to find and put out the fires.

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