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Hot Temps, Lightning Challenging Firefighters

Oscar Sosa/Getty Images

Firefighters across the Northwest reacted as triple-digit heat and lightning made their job even more difficult in an area where two dozen large wildfires are already burning.

The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center says roughly 1,500 lightning strikes started nearly 20 new wildfires by Monday evening in central Oregon. The dispatch center says those fires remain small and are being managed.

Thunderstorms across Oregon, Washington and Idaho are expected through Tuesday night. On Monday, temperatures hit 107 degrees in the Columbia River Gorge at The Dalles, Oregon. Highs of 103 were reported in Warm Springs, Oregon, with 102 at Kelso in southwest Washington. In Eastern Washington, Davenport registered 104 degrees.

The National Weather Service reports that thunderstorms began to make their way through central and northeast Oregon and into southeast Washington. Lightning was also reported in the Washington Cascades.

Still, fire officials say progress is being made in most of the wildfires that have been burning across the Northwest for the past month.

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