With wildfires raging across the West, and an unusually forgiving fire season in Alaska, firefighters were shipped to the Lower 48 on Sunday night to help battle the southern blazes, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. About 100 firefighters headed south to await their assignments, Alaska Incident Management Team spokeswoman Sarah Saarloos told the News-Miner.
According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (AICC), the firefighters headed south were assigned mid-flight to the Fontenelle Fire in Wyoming. An additional jet load of 100 firefighter personnel will depart for Wyoming on Wednesday. This is the first mobilization of firefighters to the Lower 48 since 2008, the AICC reports.
As of Monday morning, the Fontelle Fire had burned 47,478 acres, with "extreme fire behavior," according to the Wyoming Incident Information System.
Colorado has also been hit hard by this season's fires; the state is currently fighting six different fires, and many more have been fully contained. The Waldo Canyon Fire is being fought by 1,500 personnel, and has destroyed 346 homes as of Monday, while the Little Sand Fire has burned over 24,000 acres.
In Alaska, one new wildfire, the Wright Fire, was reported on Sunday, resulting when a structure fire spread to adjacent wildland. Division of Forestry personnel responded and extinguished the fire. As of Monday morning, 266 fires have burned 144,222 acres in Alaska, the AICC reports.
Find more information about Alaska wildfires, here.