Rain slows some Alaska fires while others continue to burn

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Rain has slowed some of the wildfires in Alaska's interior while others continued to grow over the weekend, a report said.

    Lightning sparked new fires in southwest Alaska including blazes that threatened cabins and commercial and historical infrastructure, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

    In southwest Alaska, lightning started dozens of fires between Wednesday and Friday, although most of the 58 active fires burned in remote areas.

    About an inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain fell on the Hess Creek Fire that has burned 250 square miles (648 square kilometers) near Livengood, The Alaska Division of Forestry said.

    The rain dramatically reduced fire activity and firefighters were able to clear areas where the fire jumped a highway Wednesday, although many areas continued to smolder over the weekend, officials said.

    The rain also halted the growth of the Shovel Creek Fire northwest of Fairbanks. Crews performed mop-up operations along a fire line and scouted areas for further protection near the Chatanika River, officials said.

    Rain reduced or lifted evacuation alerts as a result of the Kobe Fire, which started Thursday and rapidly grew to 1.9 square miles (5 square kilometers) near Mile 275 Parks Highway, officials said.

    The Nugget Creek Fire in the Chena River State Recreation Area about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Fairbanks grew to more than 25 square miles (65 square kilometers).

    The Rainbow 2 fire west of Delta Junction encroached on several cabins on the Richardson Clearwater River. The fire caused by lightning has burned since late June and was pushed near inhabited areas by a storm cell Thursday.

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