The 2015 Alaska fire season has hit the 5-million-acre mark and is likely on its way to becoming the second largest wildfire season on record.
Wildfires in the state passed the milestone on Friday, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, and stood at 5,036,395 acres as of Sunday. A warm, dry June had Alaska on pace for its biggest wildfire season ever a month ago, but that trajectory was stalled by wet weather that began dampening much of the state in July.
This summer’s total is just 13,000 acres short of the acreage burned in 1957, which is the second biggest season ever recorded. The top wildfire season occurred in 2004, when 6.6 million acres burned.
Despite seasonal rain in much of the state, fires remain active in drier parts of the western Interior, southwest Alaska and the Seward Peninsula.