Still Potential for a Fire Season

Noatak, Alaska: The Alaskan fire season this summer has not seen the number or extent of wildfires that occurred last summer which has been due partly to the heavy amount of precipitation that we have seen over the last few months. With that said, multiple days of warm weather has the potential to dry out light, flashy fuels which can easily ignite with a simple spark.

Over the last couple of weeks, lighting storms have passed through the area and recently a detection flight located a “black spot” along a ridge that had been previously burning but was “naturally” extinguished by wetting rains. This is typical for “wet” lightning storms but with the current warm weather “dry” lighting and careless human-caused fires has the potential to increase fire activity.

Aniralik Lake Fire – ref# 406

  • Located 91.4 miles NNW of Amber and 97.7 miles ENE of Noatak within the Noatak National Preserve
  • The fire was discovered on July 9th by the BLM Alaska Fire Service and was initially reported as a 100 acres with no fire activity and declared a “natural out”
  • Ultimately the fire was mapped using satellite imagery and was estimated tFire 406_1 (1)o be 206.5 acres
  • The fire was burning in tundra on a ridge and according to historical lightning in the area the fire started around June 17th, 2016.

 

Fire history over the years has shown that there is an uptick in recorded fires during the month of July. The increase in fires has come primarily from natural sources (lighting) though
human-caused fires are recorded in the fire records.

Even though fire in the boreal forest of Alaska is an essential process that restores ecosystem health and helps to maintain species diversity, we are urging folks to be cognizant of their surroundings and any activity that involves fire or a potential to cause a fire.

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