Alaska surpasses 100,000-acre mark as wildfire season heats up

Alaska’s wildfire season got off to a slow start but it’s been picking up speed during the last week and a half, due in large part to several lightning-caused fires burning in the southwest and western Alaska.

The South Fork Salcha Fire burns through black spruce on Thursday, June 8. The fire, last estimated at 3,600 acres, is burning approximately 70 miles southeast of Fairbanks and 25 miles north of Delta Junction off the Pogo Mine Road. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

Alaska surpassed the 100,000-acre mark in acres burned for the season on Friday, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center on Fort Wainwright. As of Saturday morning, 195 fires have burned an estimated 111,609 acres. Most of that acreage has been in southwest and western Alaska, where fires have burned 106,000 acres. The Division of Forestry’s Southwest Area between McGrath and Dillingham has had 18 fires that have burned 61,899 acres while the BLM Alaska Fire Service’s Galena Zone, which encompasses much of western Alaska, has had 32 fires that have burned 44,101 acres.

While this season’s acreage total to date pales in comparison to the average of about 1.2 million acres that Alaska burns each year, that number is expected to climb with the number of fires now on the landscape, especially with several fires burning in limited protection areas where no suppression action is being taken. Only time – and weather – will tell how high that number will climb.
To check the daily wildfire statistics in Alaska, go to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center’s daily Situation Report at where you will find a rundown of new fires and updates on fires that are currently burning.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

Comments are closed.