Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta wildfires, part of a new pattern, push Alaska to early season milestone

  • Source: KTOO-FM 104.3 Juneau
  • Published: 06/22/2022 12:00 AM

Alaska wildfires have already burned 1 million acres, crossing that threshold earlier in the summer than in any summer in recent decades. The milestone was driven by large and plentiful fires in a region of the state that, until recently, had only modest burning – the tundra-rich delta in southwestern Alaska that lies between the lower Yukon River and the Kuskokwim River. Already, the 163,533-acre East Fork Fire near the Yup’ik village of St. Mary’s, sparked by lightning on May 31, is among the biggest tundra fires on record in Alaska. And the Apoon Pass Fire, reported at 72,499 acres Monday, now ranks as the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta’s second-largest tundra fire on record, said Rick Thoman, a climate specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


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