This year, from June 22rd to 28th, the National Weather Service is commemorating Lightning Safety Awareness Week. This is an important educational week for them, and us, because summer is the peak season for one of the nation's deadliest weather phenomena--lightning. Though lightning strikes peak in summer, people are struck year round. In the United States, according to the latest NFPA report, local fire departments respond to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning.
In addition to the fires reported to local fire departments, federal and state wildland firefighting agencies reported an average of 9,000 wildland fires started by lightning to the National Interagency Fire Center per year in 2008-2012. These fires tended to be larger than fires started by human causes. The average lightning-caused fire burned 402 acres, nine times the average of 45 acres seen in human-caused wildland fires.
The National Weather Service has provided many educational resources on their website, including information on safety, science, myths and facts.
In addition, NFPA offers lightning safety tips in an easy to read tip sheet. Check them out above or download these NFPA safety tips on lightning.