Despite a relatively low number of acres burning in Alaska wildfires this summer, resources are spread thin, a fire official said.
“We’re sort of making it by the skin of our teeth with the resources we have,” said Tim Mowry, a spokesman for the Alaska Division of Forestry.
In total, about 36,615 acres of Alaska land has been burned by wildfires so far this year, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. Mowry said the number is low for peak fire season, although that could change at any time. Even with the low acreage on fire, Mowry said the department is pressed thin for staffing. Five teams from the Lower 48 arrived to Alaska to work for a month, but Mowry said they may return home sooner if conditions improve in Alaska or if conditions worsen in the Lower 48.
Crews from Outside routinely assist with wildfire suppression during Alaska’s peak season.
“The acreage is low, but for the last week and a half or two weeks, it’s been fairly busy with a lot of wildfires that we’ve had to contend with an initial attack around values around communities,” he said.