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HomeAlmanacInterior lightning swarm sparks fires as Alaska heads into rainy season

Interior lightning swarm sparks fires as Alaska heads into rainy season

After the slowest fire season in state history, the Alaska Division of Forestry and Fire Protection is actively responding to a swarm of lightning-strikes that set off fires on Monday the Interior near Delta and Salcha. 

The Interior had over 7,000 ground strikes of lightning, the Bureau of Land Management reported.

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The McCoy Creek Fire (#201) was reported 25 miles North of the Salcha Boat Ramp. The fire is estimated at 25 acres and burning in black and white spruce with an 80% active perimeter. There are multiple structures threatened but no evacuation notices at this time.

Helicopter fire crews, fire bosses, and additional Division of Forestry engines, along with initial attack resources are responding and the fire is also getting some rain.

The Pogo Mine Road Fire (#191) near Delta is estimated at 150 acres and is a cluster of ignitions. Aviation resources responded and found no values at risk or structures currently threatened. The fire is in a modified management zone that is expected to receive rain on Monday night.

The 6-Mile Pogo Fire (#196) is estimated at 6 acres and is currently not threatening values. Fire bosses and helicopter crews are responding with additional resources.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service is also fielding numerous reports of new lightning-caused fires in Interior Alaska Monday afternoon, including one wildfire reported just south of Mile 100 of the Elliott Highway.

However, none appear to be immediately threatening any sites of value and most are plotting in remote parts of Alaska. 

BLM fire personnel aboard an airplane surveying the area reported smoke from the Moose Fire (Fire #200) was drifting over the road, but the fire was not immediately threatening any knowns sites of value. It was reported as four acres in size and burning in a mixture of spruce and hardwoods.

The BLM AFS protection area overs the northern half of the state, based out of Fort Wainwright.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning effective from 1 p.m. Monday, July 24 until 4 a.m. Tuesday, July 25 for the Central Interior, Yukon Flats, Deltana & Tanana Flats.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. 91° and holding steady here in Fairbanks. 70° at night. Mid 80’s for the remainder of the week. Spectacular, here in the Interior. Good air quality too. Grass is ultra green and trees are beautiful.
    Just luving all of this man-made global warming. Keep it coming!

    • They only blame global warming for weather conditions that are not ideal. Seems to mainly affect the lower 48 for some reason.

  2. “as Alaska heads into rainy season”

    Huh? What do you call June and July? I’m still waiting for Alaska to head into the dry season.

    • I’m still waiting for Alaska to head into summer. The fireweed never even bloomed at my house. I live in Wasilla.

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