Alaskan wildfires threaten homes

70 wildfires burn across the state, prompting health warnings as Texans, experiencing the worst drought in a decade, brace for wildfires

ANCHORAGE | July 9, 2009



"Typically speaking, July and August are dryer fuel wise than June is, so to be this dry, this early in the summer is a real concern"

—Tom Spencer, Texas Forest Service


Wildfires are threatening nearly 50 homes along the Tanana and Kantishna Rivers although thunderstorms have somewhat slowed the advance of the fires.

The Minto Flats South and Lunch Lake fires are just two of 70 forest firest that have been reported across the state. As the fires continue to burn across more than 125,000 acres, city health officials here issued a air quality control warning this week.

"Our conditions are peaking towards the extreme, given the weather we've had over the last week, both the fuel conditions and the weather conditions are such that we are in high to extreme fire danger," Tim Garbe, a battalion chief for the Anchorage Fire Department, told reporters for the CBS affiliate in Anchorage this week.

The record fires come on the heels of record flooding in parts of the state this Spring.

Meanwhile two homes were destroyed in Colorado County, Texas, over the holiday weekend as Texas Forest Service officials are warning of the potential of more serious fires this summer. "Typically speaking, July and August are dryer fuel wise than June is, so to be this dry, this early in the summer is a real concern," said Tom Spencer.

Weather forecasters say the drought is the worst many residents have experienced in a decade.


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