Summer storm hits Taft area
- Thunder, lightning and rain showers hit in the early morning hours. Lightning sparks fires to the west near McKittrick.
Thunder and lightning, accompanied by a rare summer rain shower, moved through the Taft area overnight.
The first storm started lighting the sky about 1 a.m. with thunder and lightning and quickly moved to the west.
A few minutes later, a second storm cell, louder than the first, moved through the area with several lightning strikes hitting in town about 2 a.m.
The second storm was accompanied by some brief but heavy rain showers.
There were reports of power outages in Taft and cable television and internet service was out for a time.
The storms touched off a couple of small grass fires near Highway 58 and Reward Road in the McKittrick area and then moved west into San Luis Obispo County.
By mid-morning, crews in San Luis Obispo County reported a fire in the Chimneas Ranch area north of New Cuyama, possibly on the Carrizo Plain National Monument, had burned 50 acres.
That fire was reported at 6:40 a.m.
No immediate word on a cause for that fire was available from Calfire, but there was lightning in the area early Saturday.
There is a continued 20 percent chance of showers and storms in the Taft area through Saturday evening, then dry weather will return at least into the middle of next week.