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Waldbrände
( Datum: August 30th, 2005 um 9:53:23am)
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Ein Auszug aus Anchorage Daily News
Wildfire season to rank among state's worst ever

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Officials predict 2005 will likely rank as one of the state's top three most devastating years for wildfires, with more than 3.8 million acres consumed so far.

Officials expect the burnt acreage to surpass previous records by sometime late this week.

Combined with 2004's record burn, fire has blackened more than 10.5 million acres in about 16 months.

"We have hit a lot of benchmarks in a very short period of time," said Randi Jandt, a fire ecologist for the Alaska Fire Service.

The three worst fire seasons occurred in 2004, 1957, with 5 million acres burned and 1969, with 4.2 million acres consumed.

The number of blazes still burning late in the season when the weather changed led to 2005's high totals. By Aug. 1, 541 fires were responsible for 1.7 million acres burned, but over the next three weeks, a high-pressure weather system spurred more than 100 fires over more than 2 million acres.

During the 2004 season fire quickly ate through more than 100,000 acres on nine different days.

The high-pressure system brought an increase in lightning strikes, warmer temperatures, drier air and winds from the north and east.
Flames choked the Interior with hazardous smoke, disrupted travel and spiked the cost of firefighting efforts.
In addition, less than a 10th of an inch of rain has fallen at Fairbanks International Airport in August. The final month of summer in the Interior has usually been dominated by slow, drenching rain and cool temperatures since record-keeping began about 100 years ago.

Schmoll is not ready to change fire management plans for the area based on the last two years. He sees the increased activity as part of a natural cycle.

"You have periods where you have two, three, four, five years of higher activity," he said. "We just got out of a period in 2002 or 2003 of lower activity."

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