Lightning maps showed more than 7,400 strikes occurred from 9 a.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday. Much of it was concentrated in Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Franklin Counties.
"Significant amounts of rain fell Saturday night so some fires may not be detected for some time,” said Central Washington Interagency Communications Center Operations Coordinator Jim Duck. “Many times lightning will strike a tree and fire will smolder beneath it for some time until fuel around it dries out.”
Firefighters call small fires that burn undetected for a period of time “sleepers” or hold-overs.” Precipitation that accompanies lightning often brings fires that can take days to emit enough smoke to be detected.
An aerial detection flight was scheduled to depart from Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee on Sunday morning and was expected find more fires.
Two fires were reported on Saturday on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. One occurred near the Leavenworth Ski Hill. Another was about six miles west of Entiat on Dinkleman Ridge. Suppression efforts on the two fires have so far been successful.
Two fires were also detected on Saturday north of the Yakama Indian Reservation and about 10 miles south of Rimrock Lake. One was reported to be about 60 acres and another is estimated to be between 50 and 200 acres.
Two hand crews are on another fire north of the Yakama Indian Reservation that is about nine miles west of Tieton. It is estimated to be five to six acres.