Thunderstorms spark wildfire concerns |

Thunderstorms spark wildfire concerns

Firefighters conduct structure protection in Walker on Tuesday evening after a lightning strike set a fire near town.
Antelope Valley Fire Department

The chance of thunderstorms from midsummer heat across the Sierra have firefighters keeping an eye out for lightning strikes.

On Tuesday, residents of western Walker were evacuated after a 4:15 p.m. strike set a wildfire near town.

The Pinenut Fire was halted at seven acres, according to the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch.

A brush engine from Topaz Ranch Estates responded to aid Antelope Valley and federal firefighters in battling the blaze.

The fire was contained and residents allowed back in their homes by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting afternoon and evening thunderstorms south of Highway 50 today, with showers and thunderstorms possible for the eastern Sierra into Western Nevada on Friday.

Forecasters said storms will be wetter and slower, but lightning strikes outside the rain core could ignite new fires.

Gusty winds accompanying thunderstorms could help wildfires spread.

A lightning storm over the weekend set nearly a dozen new fires cross the Great Basin.

A 1,105-acre fire is burning southeast of Winnemucca.