Originally Posted by Learch
I will say this, I love seeing lightning when I am out in the wilderness.
I was on one fire where a 19 year old Zuni Native American was killed by lightning. I was night shift and not involved. On the Mogollon rim near Payson Arizona. That ridge has more lightning tree strikes than anyplace I've been. Seemed like every 12th tree hit in some places.
Despite that tragedy I loved being out in a storm.
Huddled under a tarp while it would absolutely hammer all around.
I was next to a guy who got hit.
Two friends got hit. I wasn't there for either of those events.
One was seriously concussed.
The other was near a fence.
I saw in an earlier link where someone asserted that lightning isn't attracted to metal.
I couldn't disagree more.
Its how it is attracted to metal only in the segments it takes that is interesting.
A kid near Morgan Lake in La Grande was killed by lightning a few decades ago.
Lightning hit a larger Pondo next to the lake. Part way down it jumped from the tree to the kid. There was another lad in-between the boy killed and the tree. The kid that was hit and killed had a metal brace in his leg. The lightning strike took a longer route to get to that young one.
Lightning jumps from tree to tree or to the ground all the time. Next to a choker cable in one instance I remember.
I recall vividly a wildlife tree metal tag that got hit.
4" of metal that somehow greased the path.
Another guy who was in a prescribed fire class I was in got hit by lightning in the Grand Canyon. I thought it was going to be this incredible story. God and nature. People running screaming on the edge of some cliff.
He was on a corded phone up in a Park Service building on the North Rim.
That little bit of phone wire took the strike inside the building exactly to his head. He was OK when I knew him. Did have to take a more serious physical prior to each fire season.
While pure water is not a conductor many wet substances conduct better than dry. Lightning typically hits wetter trees like white/grand fir. AKA piss fir.
Unless its top of the cloud to ground strikes like most of the 1967 September storm in N Cal and Oregon. For some reason those lighting bolts hit dryer fuels like long dead snags. Means more fires.
The longest strike we have documented is a 12 miler in Colorado front country.
It reached out along the mountains and came down to kill some guy in a place where they didn't even see the T-storm.
I don't understand lightning.
But I do know don't stand next to a vehicle when the antennas are doing the static hairdo thing.