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As rain soaks Alaska, state's wildland firefighters head south

Posted: July 17, 2014 - 11:02pm

State fire officials say Alaska firefighting crews and personnel are headed Outside as wildland fire potential decreases in much of the state. The Gannett Glacier and White Mountain crews are on their way to northcentral Washington. Nearly 100 Alaska Division of Forestry overhead personnel, supervisory positions, managers and crew members have been ordered to fires that are occurring across several Western states. Wildfires are burning in Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and California.

The Carlton Complex, northeast of Seattle, consists of four fires that started Monday from lightning strikes in the Methow Valley. The four fires are the Stokes Fire, French Creek Fire, Cougar Flats Fire, and Golden Hike Fire.

The Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew is still on assignment in the Northwest Territories and is expected to return to Alaska the middle of next week.

The Alaska Fire Service has also let resources head south in response to increased fire activity in the Lower 48. The Midnight Sun and Chena interagency hotshot crews are in Idaho on the Whiskey Complex Fire. Several overhead personnel and 26 smokejumpers have departed to various locations.

Fire activity in Alaska has been minimal as rain continues to fall across most of the state. Forestry still maintains initial attack firefighters and equipment across the state to respond to possible fires. Recent fires lightning-caused fires in northwest Alaska are being monitored.

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