Lightning sparks new fires in Alaska, but help is on the way - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Lightning sparks new fires in Alaska, but help is on the way

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Sixteen new Alaska wildfires -- most started by lightning -- are putting added pressure on the state's already strained firefighting resources.

Alaska Division of Forestry spokesman Pete Buist says state and federal agencies at one point Tuesday ran out of smokejumpers as new fires began in interior Alaska and areas north and south of Anchorage.

More than 300 firefighters from other states and Canada were expected by Wednesday.

The state's primary concerns are two fires threatening rural communities on its highway system.

The Sockeye Fire at Willow has burned 25 homes but none since Sunday.

The Card Street Fire has burned six structures near Sterling, on the Kenai Peninsula. Buist says winds had been pushing the fire east into federal refuge land. But he says they shifted Tuesday, and the fire again threatened homes near the Kenai River.

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