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Lightning Storm Starts Clear Creek Fire

National Weather Service

Alaska’s wildfire situation heightened over the weekend, as the season’s first major thunderstorms resulted in thousands of lightning strikes. Alaska Fire Service spokesperson Beth Ipsen says there were 1,800 lightning strikes Saturday, and 3,500 Sunday, spanning a large swath of the state

Ipsen says the lightning sparked 20 new wildfires including two blazes in the Unalakleet area, which were fought with smoke jumpers and water scooping planes.  

A new lightning caused fire south of Fairbanks is burning in a military training area on the Tanana Flats, but so far Ipsen says the Clear Creek fire, which is on the other side of the Tanana River from town, is only being monitored.

Ipsen says the Clear Creek Fire was estimated to be about 88 acres Sunday night. She notes that with so many lightning strikes, additional new fires are expected to be detected in coming days.