Rain Slows Wildfires in Southwest Alaska
The Lime Hills Fire, the largest in the state, is no longer directly threatening Lime Village. The state forestry division says the northern firebreak, control over the slopover fire, and good rainfall has secured the community enough that firefighters will leave the immediate area. Structure protections will remain in place upriver of the community, while hotshot crews will be dispatched to Fairbanks area fires. Pockets of the 200 thousand acre fire could survive the rains and spread as the summer goes on. The fire has been burning since May 31st.
The wildfire southeast of Sleetmute was tempered by heavy rains over the past two days and no fire activity was observed by air Sunday. The fire had burned 3 thousand acres after being started by lighting June 27th. Firefighters secured several structures near the fire and built a firebreak to protect cabins and lodges on the Holitna river. The southern edge extended to an old burn area which halted its progress. Structural protections will stay in place, along with 8 smokejumpers.
The state division of forestry says that rains will keep citizens of southwest Alaska relatively safe for the next week or two. Historic weather patterns call for fewer lighting strikes and more moisture as the summer goes on.
38 fires burned in Southwest Alaska this season, all but two were started by lighting. Statewide, 110 fires are still active. 414 fires have burned over 830 thousand acres this year.