Aug 10, 2015

2015 Alaska wildfire season now 2nd biggest on record

Alaska
USA
by
Asaf Shalev
,
Alaska Dispatch News
The setting sun is obscured by smoke from the Sockeye wildfire that started near Kashwitna Lake on Sunday afternoon. Image: Bill Roth / ADN
The setting sun is obscured by smoke from the Sockeye wildfire that started near Kashwitna Lake on Sunday afternoon. Image: Bill Roth / ADN

Alaska has now seen 5.08 million acres burn so far this wildfire season, the second-largest number since records began 76 years ago. This summer’s acreage -- equivalent to nearly 8,000 square miles -- edged out 1957 but will likely fall far short of 2004, the record year when about 6.6 million acres went up in flames, officials say. Fire official Sam Harrel said that as the dry season in Alaska comes to an end, the chances for lightning to strike and cause new blazes are much lower.