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Lightning Sparks Desert Fires

April 28, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Lightning sparked numerous small fires in the high desert Monday as storms moved through Southern California for a second day.

Southern California Edison Co. said 6,000 homes in the Pomona and San Jacinto areas lost power in the early afternoon because of lightning damage. Spokeswoman Debbie VanNess had no estimate of how long power would be out.

San Bernardino County fire crews battled four small brush fires sparked by lightning about 2 p.m. on a ridge above the Morongo Wildlife Preserve where lack of roads forced firefighters to hike in, said Capt. Erny O’Keefe.

The largest fire was 3 1/2 acres and the others were 1 acre to 2 acres, said dispatcher Steve Beach. They remained uncontained at nightfall.

Lightning caused several small afternoon fires in areas south of Hemet, said California Department of Forestry dispatcher Sue O’Donnell.

″Most of them are being put out by the rain that’s following,″ she said.

In the Antelope Valley, lighting again ignited many small blazes and knocked out electricity to homes and a Fire Department communications center that had lost power from a bolt the day before, said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Edward Gil.

Elsewhere, firefighters battled two other small brush fires sparked by unknown causes Monday. A 1:45 p.m. blaze at Otterbein State Park between Rowland Heights and La Habra Heights, 20 miles east of Los Angeles, consumed 2 acres before it was controlled, said Los Angeles County fire spokesman Deborah Shackelford.

A fire in Malibu along Pacific Coast Highway across from Leo Carrillo State Beach consumed less than an acre before it was controlled, she said.

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