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Alaska Wildfires: Firefighters Doing Battle With Over 300 Fires

by Inquisitr |

Firefighters in Alaska are being stretched to their limit as the Alaska wildfires continue to burn through hundreds of thousands of acres. On Thursday alone, 280,000 acres were burned in Alaska. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources commented on the disaster on Tuesday.

“Given the high number of fires and the personnel assigned to those fires, the state’s firefighting resources are becoming very limited, forcing fire managers to prioritize resources.”

The Alaska wildfires are said to be extremely difficult to control and highly resistant to being extinguished. This tweet that was put out by the Alaska Division of Forestry shows just how dire the situation is.

Scientists have been studying the Alaska wildfires. They have discovered that these type of events are becoming a trend. They have also discovered that these Alaska wildfires are releasing excessive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere that had been trapped underneath layers of permafrost. Todd Sanford, a climate scientist for Climate Central, explains about this problem.

“One major concern about wildfires becoming more frequent in permafrost areas is the potential to put the vast amounts of carbon stored there at increased risk of being emitted and further amplify warming.”

Sanford was the lead author of a report that shows proof that Alaska wildfires are much worse than they were in the past based on the climate changing. The report states that Alaska has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the United States over the last 60 years. Compared to 60 years ago, the frequency of Alaska wildfires has doubled and the wildfire season is now 40 percent longer than it was in the 1950s and 60s. The amount of Alaska wildfires is projected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100.

Firemen who have spent time fighting Alaska wildfires are also noticing a drastic change. Nicky Sundt is a former smoke jumper for the United States Forest Service, and he comments about how different things were 30 years ago.

“Since I fought fire in Alaska over 30 years ago, the planet has rapidly warmed and wildfire conditions have noticeably deteriorated. “As is all too often the case with the impacts of climate disruption, we are leaning more and more on firefighters and other first-responders to protect us. This is a very risky, costly and unsustainable approach.”