Weather no help against Interior state wildfires

Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FAIRBANKS - The National Weather Service said hot, dry weather in the Interior is likely to keep forest fires burning in the Interior for the foreseeable future.

More than 500 firefighters are staffing at least 13 fires and monitoring others. The largest is a group of fires near Nenana, called the Railbelt Complex, that has covered nearly 300,000 acres. That's about 470 square miles.

Alaska Fire Service spokesman Doug Stockdale told The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner it usually sends firefighters to the Lower 48 this time of year, but they're too busy now in their home state.

The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reported 454 fires this year have burned 1.5 million acres. This time last year, 332 fires had burned about 80,000 acres.

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