Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fire Creep

Tuesday morning's (July 12) situation report from the Alaska Fire Service states that acres burned this season in Alaska is now up to about 272,000 acres This is an increase of about 10,000 acres since the first of the month. No surprise, with more than 13,000 lightening strikes and several dozen new fires in the past two weeks. However, the pattern has changed and looks locked into a somewhat cooler and damper, but most definitely not thundery pattern for the next week. There were no lightening strikes at all in the state on Monday. Given this forecast, time is running out this to be a major (million+ acre) fire season in Alaska. Once it starts to get dark at night and relative humidities recover, it becomes much harder for fires to dramatically grow. Not impossible, as 2004 and 2005 showed, but those were record dry Augusts with big fires already burning, whereas today the biggest fire that is actively burning is the 3800 acre Lloyd fire, southwest of Tanana. Only two other fires over 1000 acres are actively burning in the state.

I sure hope I don't jinx it by saying this, but it's looking hopeful :)

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