Thunderstorm activity has been on the increase across Alaska this week, prompting severe thunderstorm warnings and numerous wildfires around the state.
In just a span of two days nearly 8,000 lightning strikes were detected across the state, which were primarily confined to southwest Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. It's these areas that according to the Alaska Division of Forestry, saw 11 new wildfires spark from the afternoon thunderstorms. Three of those fires occurred Tuesday in southwest Alaska, with suppression efforts underway for two smaller fires near McGrath. The largest, which is a 150-acre fire near Mt. Hurst, is currently not threatening anything and has been placed in monitor status.
Numerous wildfires are also occurring across the Kenai Peninsula, thanks to numerous thunderstorms that affected Southcentral Wednesday afternoon. Fire officials say that there are currently 50 firefighters responding to the largest fire on the Kenai known as the Tustumena Lake Fire.