Lightning Strikes

A natural phenomenon in which an electrical discharge occurs between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, often during thunderstorms. Lightning strikes can generate intense heat and cause the ignition of wildfires, particularly in areas with dry vegetation and favorable weather conditions for fire spread. While many wildfires are caused by human activities, lightning strikes account for a significant number of naturally occurring wildfires each year. In legal disputes related to wildfires, such as the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire, issues may arise concerning the origin of the fire, the role of lightning strikes in the ignition and spread of the wildfire, and the responsibility of land managers and property owners in mitigating the risk and consequences of lightning-induced wildfires.