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Thunderstorm Fire Threat Prompts Bay Area Red Flag Warning

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Lightning strikes during a California thunderstorm (David McNew/Getty Images)

Lightning strikes during a California thunderstorm (David McNew/Getty Images)

MOUNT DIABLO (CBS SF) – The National Weather Service issued a red flag warnings for parts of the Bay Area in response to thunderstorms.

A warning was issued for the North Bay hills Friday afternoon and at around 7 p.m. authorities extended the warning to include the East Bay Hills, the Diablo Range, and parts of Monterey, Santa Clara and San Benito counties.

A red flag warning indicates that critical fire weather conditions are happening or are imminent in the area. The warning is in effect until 5 p.m. Saturday.

The warnings were issued in response to thunderstorms that are moving into the Bay Area from the northeast, National Weather Service spokeswoman Diana Henderson said.

As of 8 p.m., the thunderstorms were passing through Antioch, Pleasanton and Livermore, and heading toward Fremont, Henderson said.

Henderson said dry lightening could ignite wildfires and residents are urged to be watchful and are reminded not to set campfires and be cautious when discarding cigarette butts.

“It’s volatile out there,” she said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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