Lightning sparks multiple small fires in Spokane area
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say lightning contributed to more than 20 small fires in Spokane County in Washington state.
Power outages were reported throughout the Spokane area in the wake of the Tuesday night storms. Avista Utilities reported outages affected more than 21,000 customers at about 11:10 p.m. Tuesday. Inland Power and Light reported more than 2,000 customers without power at that time. Vera Water and Power, Kootenai Electric Cooperative and the Pend Oreille Public Utility District also reported outages.
The Spokesman-Review reports that at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Avista still was reporting about 7,200 customers without power.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Spokane area just before 9 p.m. that forecast gusts of wind up to 60 mph. Lightning struck the ground close to 300 times between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.