The state has established a fire response hub in Aniak to issue supplies to the surrounding fires.
Anchorage saw temperatures spike above 60 degrees every day in June for the first time in recorded history. The city also experienced near record low precipitation: Only 1/10 of an inch of rain fell the entire month.
The fire also comes as the state of Alaska enters its second highest level of fire preparedness, based on the high number of wildfires burning statewide and the possibility for more.
Two villages along the Lower Yukon River have begun evacuating their most vulnerable residents from a tundra fire.The fire late Thursday was burning less than eight miles from St Mary’s and nearby Pitkas Point, and wind continues spreading the flames closer to the villages with a combined population of over 700 people. Yute Commuter Service is sending all its planes to St. Mary’s to evacuate residents, and Grant Aviation is prepared to assist.
Less snow than usual fell in the area this winter. It melted early, exposing the tundra. A steady wind has dried the vegetation, and hardly any precipitation has fallen since early March. Thoman said that with no rain and abundant sunshine, the tundra has remained brown and dry. The fire still is not threatening the community of Kwethluk or any Native allotments.
Fires are already erupting in Siberia this spring, sending billowing smoke into the western United States. One of the regions with the largest number of extinguished forest fires was in Omsk Oblast. Videos from the Siberian Times showed wildfires raging across the Omsk and Tyumen oblasts in Western Siberia, while satellite data showed several fires across the landscape beginning in the first half of April.