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Fire officials say to ‘expect an early start’ to Alaska wildfire season

By KTVA CBS 11 News 3:05 PM March 6, 2016
ANCHORAGE –

“Expect an early start to the wildland fire season.”

That’s what officials with the Alaska Division of Forestry are saying about this spring and summer. Already, at least two wildfires have been reported this season.

In their Alaska Monthly Fire Potential Outlook, released Monday, the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center said fire activity is expected to be minimal in March but will most likely pick up in April and May, particularly in the southcentral region.

Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook maps continue to indicate a high likelihood of warmer than normal conditions across the entire state through the spring,” the report said. “These warm temperatures are contributing to low snowpack in parts of southern Alaska once again this winter, with worst conditions around the Anchorage Bowl and Kenai Peninsula.”

The first wildfire of the season was reported near Delta Junction in February. The fire was started by live-fire training by the military. A burn barrel left unattended in the Mat-Su Borough ignited the second wildfire, which was put out quickly, according to fire officials.

For the full U.S. wildfire outlook, click here. A seven-day fire potential report that is regularly updated can be found here.

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