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Alaska's wildfire season fizzles to an end

Alaska Dispatch

It's not unusual to see wildfire season in Alaska come to a close in August, but as the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports, this season looks like it will come to an end rather unremarkably.

The state's fire catalog, Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, updates fire news regularly during the active season, but has not posted an update since July 16 -- A tell-tale sign of a slow summer.

According to the News-Miner, the 2012 "fire season will go down as the second-smallest of the past dozen years." As of August, an estimated 200,000 acres have burned, with no new burns in over a month. In contrast, the average burn during the 2000s "was nearly 2 million acres per year, including a record 6.6 million acres burned in 2004."

The mild fire season is largely due to the cool, damp summer experienced in most of the state, including the fire-prone Interior. According to meteorologist Rick Thoman, July's cool temperatures, coming smack in the middle of the active wildfire season, really kept flames from growing and spreading.

For more on the slow wildfire season click here and for more on the disappointingly cool Alaskan summer click here.