Alaska had an early start to the wildfire season, but the Division of Forestry (DOF) says the total number of acres burned this year were “well below normal level.”


In a release from DOF, the agency wrote there were 558 fires, which burned 500,095 acres. In Interior Alaska, during the two summer months that typically see the most wildfire activity — June and July — heavy rain helped slow the blazes, according to DOF.


More than 50 percent of the fires started this year were human-caused, DOF said.


The number of acres burned is smaller than normal, but Alaska ranks second, behind California, for total amount of acres burned by state.


In the Last Frontier, DOF said, an average 500 fires burn about 1 million acres during a fire season. During 2015, 5.1 million acres burned in 768 fires — it was the second worst wildfire season the state had seen.


As of Sept. 30, there are still 20 active fires in Alaska.


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