Lightning strikes cause spray of wildfires

Posted: Monday, May 25, 2009

FAIRBANKS - The first major thunderstorm to hit Interior Alaska brought scattered showers and more than a few lightning strikes.

Though no rain was recorded Saturday afternoon by the National Weather Service at Fairbanks International Airport, more than 2,200 lightning strikes were detected.

Coupled with dry conditions after breakup, the lightning strikes sparked more than a dozen wildfires in Interior Alaska. None pose a threat to settled areas, but they might cause a smokier-than-normal Memorial Day for campers.

Alaska Fire Service spokesman Doug Stockdale says the state is monitoring 21 active wildfires.

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