ANCHORAGE, Alaska — About 30 Alaska firefighters from state and federal agencies are in Texas this week, battling intense wildfires fueled by winds from Tropical Storm Lee which have killed at least four people and burned at least 100,000 acres.
According to Alaska Division of Forestry spokesperson Maggie Rogers, the firefighters come from both the division and federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service and the U.S. Forest Service.
In addition to firefighters deployed directly from Alaska, BLM’s Midnight Sun Hotshot crew has redeployed from a fire assignment in California to fight the major Bastrop County blaze in Texas. Numerous homes in the area are threatened, and evacuations are in effect.
About 150 Alaska firefighters are currently fighting fires in the Lower-48, as it’s been a relatively slow wildfire season in Alaska. Rogers says the summer saw only three major wildfires near communities, all started in May: the human-caused Moose Mountain and Hastings fires near Fairbanks, and the lightning-caused East Volkmar fire near Delta Junction.