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FIRE SEASON FLARES IN ALASKA

Wildfires lapped close to two small communities, but firefighters hoped to beat them back before evacuations became necessary from Lake Minchumina and Takotna.Thousands of lightning strikes have sparked some 140 fires across the warm, dry interior of Alaska so far this summer, burning 166,300 acres of state and federal lands. By the end of June, the federal Bureau of Land Management said it had spent more than $3.16 million fighting Alaska wildfires.