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Lightning starts at least 6 brush fires

June 3, 2009 10:54:25 AM PDT
Lightning is believed to have started at least six small brush fires in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains on Wednesday. Mother Nature started the fires, and she helped put it out, with heavy rain pouring down in the area shortly after the lightning strikes.

Fire officials say the fires broke out between daybreak and 9 a.m. and is burning in the Highland area.

Five of the brush fires are in the San Bernardino Mountains, and one is located in the San Jacinto Mountains. Authorities said the two largest fires are close to each other and have burned about 100 acres combined.

"Right now the biggest problem is just waiting on the weather. Because if the storm front moves through before we can get a containment on this, we could get those winds that accompany the backside of a storm like this that could push the fire further out of control," said Bill Peters from Cal Fire.

Water-dropping helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts worked to put the fires under control.

Peters said the fires were not posing any major threat to nearby communities.

Route 330 was closed from Highland Avenue to SR-18 in Running Springs for a short time, but was reopened at about 11:30 a.m.

At around 11 a.m., a woman driving a pickup truck on on Catalina Road above Avalon Drive was killed when a large pine tree snapped in half and crushed her vehicle. Personnel from the Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Fire Departments, Sheriff's Deputies, and City of Big Bear Lake Public Works crews were on scene of the accident.

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