A thunderstorm cell passing over the Pine Nut Mountains was responsible for multiple lightning strikes above Highway 395 on Tuesday afternoon.
Fires reported included a single tree above Leviathan Mine Road and another near Mount Siegel in the Pine Nuts and another on Hot Springs Mountain.
Some rain fell with the storms, helping to suppress the fires.
The storm prompted the National Weather Service to report at 2:24 p.m. that they were tracking a strong thunderstorm eight miles northwest of Topaz Lake and moving north at 15 mph, leaving lightning, moderate rain and hail behind it. Outflow winds of up to 55 mph from the storm interfered with aircraft, grounding Careflight.
East Fork firefighters from all over Carson Valley responded to the fires. Carson City firefighters, including a seasonal unit, were dispatched to help fight the Douglas fires.
According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms are expected to return to the Sierra Front today and Thursday.
Less than an hour before the sky turned dark, the high temperature in Gardnerville was 103. A heat advisory for Carson Valley is expected to expire at 10 p.m. today.
The record high temperature for July 2 was 100 degrees set in 2001, according to the National Weather Service.
Records in Reno and South Lake Tahoe dropped like flies starting Friday. Reno posted a record high temperature of 105 on Monday, knocking off a record of 100 degrees set in 1967.
However, Minden’s record highs were a little more resilient, not falling until Tuesday.
A heat advisory remains in effect until 10 p.m. Wednesday with high temperatures hitting 100 degrees.
The National Weather Service is forecasting slight cooling on Independence Day and temperatures dropping into the mid-90s on Friday.
The high-pressure ridge that brought hot weather to the West also trapped smoke from fires around the region.