Lightning strikes: Adding fuel to wildfires - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Lightning strikes: Adding fuel to wildfires

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Several fires across the state, such as the Lodgepole Complex fire, have started due to lightning strikes. KULR 8's Briana Monte spoke with the National Weather Service to find out if they work with the local fire departments to track down lightning strikes and put out fires quickly before those fires can spread.

According to the National Weather Service, lightning can reach temperatures around fifty thousand degrees fahrenheit. Joe Lester is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service and he says we are towards the end of lightning season. He said lightning season starts in May and doesn't end til about the end of August to early September, which doesn't really help out in wildfire season. Lester said the national weather service does communicate with local fire departments to help prevent wildfires from spreading. He explained how they do it.
 
"In terms of fires and alerting firefighters, we do work pretty closely with the fire fighting teams," Lester said. "If there's a fire and they're working out there, they want to know when a thunderstorm is coming in and they're preoccupied with what they're doing so that's what we do. We do keep a close eye on thunderstorms and the lightning and we will give them calls."

According to the National Weather Service, lightning can reach temperatures around 50,000 fahrenheit. Lester said if you want to avoid lightning strikes from hitting you, stay away from trees and find shelter as soon as possible.

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