Hundreds of lightning bolts hit dry Oregon, start new fires

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Lightning bolts struck the parched forests of southern Oregon hundreds of times in 24 hours, igniting some 50 new wildfires even as the nation’s largest wildfire continued to burn less than 100 miles away. State, federal and contracted firefighters, augmented by helicopters and planes dropping fire retardant, pounced on the new wildfires in national forests in southwest Oregon before they could spread out of control. The largest one was estimated at up to 5 acres. The Oregon Department of Forestry estimated the number of new fires at 50. No towns or homes were immediately threatened.