Alaska Fire Crews Battling 2 Large Tundra Wildfires

"Smoke rises from the Bogus Creek Fire, one of two fires burning in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. Fire managers said Monday that weekend rain helped tamp down the fires which, together, total about 63 square miles. (Matt Snyder/Alaska Division of Forestry via AP)"

"Smoke rises from the Bogus Creek Fire, one of two fires burning in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. Fire managers said Monday that weekend rain helped tamp down the fires which, together, total about 63 square miles. (Matt Snyder/Alaska Division of Forestry via AP)"

Wildfires in the tundra in Alaska may become more of a frequent thing over the next century due to changing climate conditions.

From the Source:

"Alaska gets fewer fires in tundra than in forests, and tundra fires tend to be smaller, but they are not unheard of, according to Fish and Wildlife Service fire ecologist Lisa Saperstein.

Tundra fires are more common in southwest Alaska, but rare in the far north, she said. In 2007, a lightning-caused fire burned 400 square miles in the Brooks Range in the North Slope in an area where lightning is an anomaly.

The current fires are burning about 400 miles south of where the 2007 fire took place. Both fires are located in a biologically dynamic area where waterfowl nest, Saperstein said."

"According to a 2013 report by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, climate change could be a factor in a growing number of fires in tundra ecosystems over the next century."