Wildfires burn more than 3 million acres in Alaska

For the first time since 2015, Alaska has recorded a 3 million acre fire season.

It also reached this milestone in 2005, 2004, 1990, 1969, and 1957 since 1950 when accurate counting of acres began.  

Here’s how we got here this season:

July 21 – 3,000,532.9 acres

July 2 – 2,020,511 acres

June 19 – 1,005,196 acres

The map below helps illustrate just how widespread the fire activity has been this season, and compares the fire expanse to the Lower 48.

It is 1,800 miles between the westernmost and easternmost fire reported this year. That’s a little more than the same distance between Boston and Denver. 

The distance between the farthest north and farthest south fires is 1,600 miles. That’s similar to the distance between Detroit to Phoenix. 

BLM Alaska Fire Service Smokejumpers had the most southern fire jump in Alaska in the BLM smokejumpers 63-year history by traveling 787 miles from Fairbanks to the Popof Island in the eastern Aleutian Chain May 13, 2022, to protect Sand Point from a nearby wildfire. That’s a similar to the distance between Pittsburg to Kansas, Mo.  

In case you were wondering, the state’s biggest fire season was back in 2004, reaching 6.5 million in acres burned.

Green map of Alaska with red dots for fire over the pink lined outline of contiguous 48 states.
Map showing Alaska and the 530 fires recorded statewide for the 2022 Alaska Fire Season. The map is designed to compare the size of Alaska to the contiguous 48 states and the distance between wildfires. Map by Alaska Division of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info, Alaska DNR - Division of Forestry (DOF)

Tags: ,

%d bloggers like this: