Despite heat, Alaska wildfires have been limited

Aug 19, 2013 -- 9:00am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - This year may end up as a below-average wildfire season in Alaska despite the hot and dry conditions. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that only 1.25 million acres have burned so far in 2013. The 10-year average is 1.4 million acres, and there's rain in the forecast that could help bring the fire season to an end this year. While there have been nearly 600 wildfires, officials say a lack of large wildfires helped keep the acreage numbers low. After all, the 2004 season had about 700 wildfires and burned a record 6.65 million acres. Alaska Fire Service meteorologist Sharon Alden says there have been a lot less lightning strikes this year compared to the 2004 season. Other officials say the firefighters have been quick to douse fires before they grow too large while others say the weather has cooperated with timely rainfalls.

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