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ANCHORAGE - Alaska wildfire crews took advantage of continued scattered showers Thursday and slightly cooler weather.
The break in the weather let crews better manage the multiple blazes in the state. However, fire information officer Pete Buist said thunderstorms also have sparked new fires because of the lightning they bring.
There were 85 active fires burning Thursday, an increase of four from the previous day. So far this year, 293 fires have burned 725 square miles in Alaska.
Among active blazes are the 24-square-mile Eagle Trail Fire near Tanacross and the 155-square-mile Turquoise Lake Fire, 45 miles from Nikolai.
Hot, dry conditions are expected to return by early next week.