Climatology of Alaskan Wildfires with Special Emphasis on the Extreme Year of 2004

Wendler G., J. Conner, M. Shulski, M. Stuefer, B. Moore

Wildfires are a common experience in Alaska where, on average, 3,775 km2 burn annually. More than 90% of the area consumed occurs in Interior Alaska, where the summers are relatively warm and dry, and the vegetation consists predominantly of spruce, birch, and cottonwood. Summers with above normal temperatures generate an increased amount of convection, resulting in more thunderstorm development and an amplified number of lightning strikes. The resulting dry conditions facilitate the spread of wildfires started by the lightning.

2010, Theoretical and Applied Climatology