Weather mostly cooperates in calming Alaska wildfires activity, but still ahead of record year

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska wildfires flared briefly this week, but fire managers say some rain and cooler temperatures have since calmed conditions, although parts of the state's interior remain smoky.

Wildfires this season have burned about 5,060 square miles — almost the size of Connecticut. Alaska's 301 active fires have burned about 4,600 square miles, much of it in the state's interior.

Fire information spokesman Tim Mowry says fires flared Monday when temperatures in the interior reached 90 degrees.

Mowry says conditions have calmed with cooler temperatures, but some areas remain smoky, hampering the ability to conduct aerial mapping of wildfires.

Also, the state is one week ahead of where it was in 2004, a record wildfire year for Alaska when nearly 6.6 million acres — or 10,300 square miles — burned.

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