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Contact: Linda Jescke, 907-442-3890
Kotzebue: Lightning ignited more wildfires in Noatak NP over the weekend. Two new fires were spotted by an Alaska Fire Service (AFS) detection flight June 22. The Howard Pass Fire is .5 acres approximately 22 miles north northwest of the Kavachurak fire. The Imelyak River Fire is about 10 acres and about 15 miles west of the Kavachurak Fire. Neither fire was active when observed. There are no new reports about the Kavachurak 1 and 2. None of these fires threaten any structures, natural or cultural resources at this time. National Park Service and AFS fire staff will allow the fires to take their natural course. AFS will monitor them by mapping them from the air and documenting fire behavior.
This week temperatures will likely be hot and dry for much of the state. Towards the end of the week there is a potential for more lightning to move through the preserve. Given the predictions, interagency fire managers anticipate more lightning-ignited wildfires.
Where there is fire, there is smoke. Fire and smoke are often part of Alaskan summers and park visitors and local residents can anticipate varying levels of wildfire smoke due to current and expected fire activity. Check the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Air Quality website at http:// dec.alaska.gov/air/smokemain.htm. More than 70 fires are active in Alaska. Visit http:fire.ak.blm.gov for statewide fire information.