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SAN FRANCISCO - In less than a day, an electrical storm unleashed nearly 8,000 lightning strikes that set more than 800 wildfires across Northern California — a rare example of "dry lightning" that brought little or no rain but plenty of sparks to the state's parched forests and grasslands.
The weekend storm was unusual not only because it generated so many lightning strikes over a large geographical area, but also because it struck so early in the season and moved in from the Pacific Ocean. Such storms usually don't arrive until late July or August and typically form southeast of California