Alaska wildfire responders keeping eye on dry conditions

Interior Alaska and other parts of the state are experiencing conditions ripe for forest fires and natural resources officials are urging caution in outdoor activities heading into Memorial Day Weekend.

The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center says a fire along the Alaska Highway 50 miles northwest of the Canada border grew Thursday to 500 acres.

Spokesman Tim Mowry says trees may be green with leaves but grasses below remain brown and dry.

He says that grass can easily ignite. With low humidity and temperatures reaching the low 80s, conditions are perfect for sparking a wildfire.

Mowry says the same weather system is drying out southcentral Alaska and even making coastal rainforest on the Panhandle susceptible to forest fire.

Twenty-seven wildfires this year have burned five square miles.