Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
A fire official with 20 years experience in Alaska says he’s never seen such an early and dramatic start to the wildfire season in the state. Gary Lehnhausen is a fire information officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry in McGrath. He says fire activity this early is unusual, but – in his district – this much activity is unprecedented.
Alaska has already had to call in firefighting squads from the Lower 48, to deal with the priority fires among the close to 100 burning. A large wildfire about 60 miles southeast of McGrath has claimed four cabins and three outbuildings. Firefighters are working to protect other structures in the area. The Turquoise Lake fire is burning at least 57,000 acres, but smoke has prevented fire mapping since Monday morning.