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Lightning Sparks Dozens of Fires Across SoCal

LOS ANGELES -- Lightning from a rare June storm moving across Southern California ignited about two dozen small fires Wednesday, mostly in San Bernardino County.

At least 19 small fires erupted in the San Bernardino National Forest, from the San Bernardino Mountains to near Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains, said forest spokesperson John Miller.

A lightning-sparked fire burned in the Cleveland National Forest's Santa Ana Mountains, and another broke out near a golf course in San Dimas.

The San Dimas fire was reported around 5:45 p.m. in the 2100 block of Terrebonne Avenue, between Whitebluff Drive and Lassen Court.

It burned 38 acres before fire crews contained the blaze.

One of the largest fires burned about 150 acres above the city of Highland. Firefighters hoped the wet weather would help them contain it by Wednesday night.

Another fire to the north of there, below the mountain community of Running Springs, briefly closed State Highway 330 before being contained at less than an acre when it started to tain.

Dry lightning was continuing in some areas while bands of showers and thunderstorms moved through other areas.

National Weather Service meteorologist James Oh said he recorded hundreds of lightning strikes in San Bernardino County Wednesday afternoon -- at least one a minute for a couple of hours.

The storm also triggered a power outage in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach that left about a hundred customers in the dark.

The concentration of lightning strikes is caused by a large, cold air mass off the coast that its moving slowly inland, pushing a band of turbulence and thunderstorms across the Southland, according to the NWS.

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