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Bay Area Lightning Prompts Red Flag Warning

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning Wednesday for the Bay Area as a weather system that is producing dry lightning strikes continues to make its way across the region.

Throughout the morning, dozens of lightning strikes were recorded in the hills around Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, and Alameda counties, forecaster Diana Henderson said.

The weather forecast had included a chance of thunderstorms, though little or no rainfall had occurred as of Wednesday afternoon.

CBS 5 WeatherCenter: Current Conditions & Forecast

“There’s not a lot of moisture reaching the ground,” Henderson said.

As of 2 p.m., much of the weather system had moved inland toward the Central Valley and the Sierra foothills, though the red flag warning will remain in effect for the Bay Area until Thursday morning, Henderson said.

The winds, dry conditions and lightning strikes have prompted Cal Fire to increase staffing in Northern California and warn residents about possible wildfires.

“With the already tinder-dry conditions, this lightning storm system has elevated the fire danger even higher for this week,” Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Cal Fire has held all personnel on duty, staffed reserve engines and placed inmate fire crews on 24-hour availability.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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