Wildfire - Public Domain

Following on a record hot May in which much snow cover melted off early, Alaska saw no less than 152 fires erupt over the weekend. A further increase since then had the number of active fires at 243 as of Tuesday — a number that appears to have risen still further to 278 Wednesday, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.

“Given the high number of fires and the personnel assigned to those fires, the state’s firefighting resources are becoming very limited, forcing fire managers to prioritize resources,” noted the state’s Department of Natural Resources Tuesday. The preparedness level at the moment for the state is 5, meaning that “resistance to control is high to extreme and resistance to extinguishment is high.

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