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Wicked weather hits the Silverton area. The Silverton Fire District responded on a large fir tree on fire after it was hit by lightning today near Hwy 213 @ Herigstad Rd NE (see photos). A very strong thunderstorm had just hit the area with high winds, torrential rain and lightning. It is very fortunate that there were no pedestrians or motor vehicle traffic hit by the tree or the lightning. Keeping your yourself safe should be your number one priority. Be safe when thunderstorms are near. If you are driving, slow the speed of your vehicle to make up for water on the road and decreased vision. Also heed this advice from NOAA: 1) Have a lightning safety plan. Know where you'll go for safety and how much time it will take to get there. Make sure your plan allows enough time to reach safety. 2) Postpone activities. Before going outdoors, check the forecast for thunderstorms. Consider postponing activities to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation. 3) Monitor the weather. Look for signs of a developing thunderstorm such as darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing wind. 4) Get to a safe place. If you hear thunder, even a distant rumble, immediately move to a safe place. Fully enclosed buildings with wiring and plumbing provide the best protection. Sheds, picnic shelters, tents or covered porches do NOT protect you from lightning. If a sturdy building is not nearby, get into a hard-topped metal vehicle and close all the windows. Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder. 5) If you hear thunder, don't use a corded phone except in an emergency. Cordless phones and cell phones are safe to use. 6) Keep away from electrical equipment and wiring. Water pipes conduct electricity. Don't take a bath or shower or use other plumbing during a storm. More information can be found at Be safe. ####

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