Record heat, dry weather, at least a week of intense high pressure residing over the state and dry fuels for much of Alaska are producing record-setting fire spread potential and volatile fire behavior. Temperatures now commonly approaching 90ºF are drying fuels with over 20 hours of sun. Fires that lay dormant for several days earlier in the month have awakened, producing impressive growth in the eastern interior and the southwest of the state across a variety of fuels, demonstrating rapid growth rates under the extreme heat and moderate winds.
Anticipating that conditions will continue to build for the rest of June, modest changes in the pressure patterns could bring lightning ignitions and local wind events to reinforce the problem pattern. The latest fire weather forecast shows fuel build-up and dryness increasing, meaning fires will start easily, spread rapidly and be difficult to extinguish. High temperatures are predicted to continue and there is no significant precipitation likely for the next few days. Even small amounts of rain tend to evaporate quickly and do not penetrate into the dry ground.
Please be highly cautious with any open flames or sparks, and report fires and smoke immediately.
For more information and updates on most recent fires visit the Alaska Fire Service website.