Wildfires Rage Through Alaska After Lightning Storm

Flight restrictions have been imposed as nine wildfires rage in Alaska following a lightning storm.

The fires are devastating areas of southern Alaska, fueled by tinder-dry grass, brush and timber in the area.

According to the U.S. Forest Service's information platform InciWeb on July 14, the Middle Tanana Complex Wildfire was first caused by lightning last week.

Middle Tanana wildfire burns in Alaska
According to the U.S. Forest Service’s information platform InciWeb on July 14, the Middle Tanana Complex Wildfire was first caused by lightning last week. InciWeb, Aaron Kozevnikoff Jr./Zenger

The Middle Tanana Complex includes nine fires at Yukon Creek, Marshall Mountain, Central Creek, Central Creek Airstrip, Porcupine Creek, South Fork, Gold Hub, California Creek, and Gilles Creek.

InciWeb said: "The fires across the Middle Tanana Complex have received substantial precipitation over the last several days.

"All fires have shown little activity with the lower temperatures and higher humidity levels.

"The Spotted Bear wildland fire module, which specializes in wilderness firefighting, joined the smokejumpers that have been working up the Salcha River on structure protection.

"The structure protection work done on cabins on the north side of the Salcha River around Butte and Flat Creeks is almost complete.

"This work has included clearing brush, trees, and flammable materials around structures and setting up sprinkler systems.

"The module will continue to patrol and monitor the area, and the smokejumpers will boat out this weekend."

InciWeb added: "Along Shaw Creek Road towards the Pogo Mine, the Yukon wildland fire module is monitoring and patrolling the area and ensuring the power lines that run to the mine remain unaffected.

"Last night, crews took a helicopter flight into the Central Creek Airstrip Fire to check the sprinkler systems and pumps around structures.

"The Porcupine, Gilles, Marshall Mountain, and California Creek fires are being monitored.

"On the Goodpaster River, mile 0 to river mile 8.6 is now in READY status. River mile 8.6 to river mile 33.9 is in SET status. From the confluence with the South Fork Goodpaster River to Seven Mile Creek is in READY.

"The group of cabins along the Goodpaster River at the mouth of Central Creek is in SET status. Shaw Creek Road and the Pogo Mine area are in READY status. The residents off the road system and recreational cabins in the Middle Salcha River and Upper Salcha River Zones are in SET status. The Lower Salcha River remains in READY.

"When evacuation status changes, we will work with emergency management staff to make those announcements.

"Over the next few days an unsettled weather pattern will bring wind gusts around 11-14 miles per hour. Temperatures will be about 10 degrees cooler than they have been, and isolated rain showers will continue. The 8-14 day weather forecast remains above average for moisture with below average temperatures."

InciWeb added: "Temporary Flight Restrictions are in place over the Gold Hub Fire. Flight restrictions are for any aircraft, including drones. If you fly, we can't!"

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.