New fires are igniting in the Interior, as thunderstorms continue to increase in coverage.

The Alaska Division of Forestry says that within the past two weeks 5,000 lightning strikes have been recorded across the state. Nearly half of those lightning strikes occurred Monday: the highest single-day total for the state. 

While lightning is now likely going to be a big contributor to wildfires through the rest of the season, the biggest fire to-date is still ongoing in the Interior. The Oregon Lakes Fire, which officials state was human caused, is burning at about 15,000 acres near Fort Greely. 

Recent rains and cooler temperatures have helped firefighters in preventing the fire from spreading, but it's still burning in an area with significant safety concerns. According to a press release, the fire is burning within an area that has been in use by the military for more than 50 years. Explosives in the area are making it challenging for those fighting the fire with traditional methods.

However, progress continues toward maintaining the fire lines and protecting structures along the north side of the fire. The plan to protect structures in the path of the Oregon Lakes Fire was first implemented during the 2013 fire season. Should any community in the vicinity of the fire become threatened, the plan would allow for a more efficient and effective method for crews to respond.

Although containment efforts are ongoing, little rain is forecast over the next few days, which could ultimately provide more fuels for not only the Oregon Lakes Fire, but any other wildfires that occur over the week.

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