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Forest Service extends fire warning to all of Southeast

A fire warning issued for northern Southeast has been extended to other areas of the Tongass National Forest. (Image courtesy U.S. Forest Service).

A fire warning issued for northern Southeast has been extended to other areas of the Tongass National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service map).

A fire warning issued last week for parts of northern Southeast Alaska has been expanded to the whole region.

Tongass National Forest Fire Management Officer Seth Ross says continued warm, dry weather is affecting more areas.

He’s not predicting large blazes. But he says hunters, hikers, boaters and campers should be extra careful.

“We just wanted to talk to folks who are coming back into the woods and just make a gentle reminder to be careful. The conditions certainly are right for some fire activity,” he says.

He says fires should be attended at all times and thoroughly extinguished when no longer needed.

Forest fires are uncommon in Southeast’s Tongass rainforest.

But Ross says an average of 17 happen each year. Some years have as many as 40.

“They’re not big. They don’t spread out very far. They do go deep in the right conditions. We do have fires that burn down a few layers in, underground. But nothing gets too, too big,” he says.

Ross’s warning continues until the weather changes.

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