Lightning strikes prompt nearly 50 smoke checks

Lightning put on a show over Northport Flat Creek Road late Tuesday night. Photo by Roger Harnack
Roger Harnack

Lightning sparked about 50 suspected small fires since about 7 p.m. Tuesday, keeping fire crews busy checking on reports of smoke overnight.
In Stevens County, fire officials responded to lightning strikes and smoke checks in multiple areas including Red Lake, Hill Loop Road, Sisters, Burroughs Road, Orient, Harvey Creek, Stoney Mountain, Williams Lake, Williams Valley, Gifford, North Horse, Ponderosa Ridge, Addy-Gifford Road, Quartside, Peterson Swamp, Ellsworth Road, Razey Road, Northport Flat Creek, Sand Creek and Cottonwood Creek.
The North Horse smoke check turned out to be a fire that grew to 15 acres, officials said, noting the Stoney Mountain incident grew into a 2-acre fire. One-acre fires were also reported in the Sisters and Red Lake areas.
Multiple fires of less than an acre were reported in Spokane County, officials said.
Smoke reports also came in across Ferry County, including in the areas of Matson Creek, Deer Creek, Graphite Mountain, and Rattlesnake Gulch.
Wildfire spotter aircraft are scheduled to take off at 10 a.m. to scour the region for any signs of more fires.