Alaska wildfires burn more than 3,400 square miles
— Wildfires in mostly remote parts of Alaska this summer have burned more than 3,400 square miles under dry and warm conditions.
KTUU reports one lightning-sparked fire in southwest Alaska prompted the evacuation of the Donlin Gold mine Tuesday. Another led to the evacuation of a remote hunting lodge that serves as a checkpoint in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
As of Thursday morning, there were 246 active fires burning, with 27 actively fought and the rest monitored.
Spotty rain fell over some areas Wednesday, and showers and thunderstorms were expected Thursday.
Fire officials say the rain could provide temporary relief, but they also could spark more fires.
A record of more than 10,300 square miles burned in Alaska in 2004, and nearly 7,970 square miles burned in 2015.