Bethel residents might notice a smoky haze enveloping the town. That’s because four wildfires are burning near coastal communities in Southwest Alaska. The largest of these started burning on May 30 about 40 miles southeast of Chevak, and has grown to nearly 11,000 acres as of June 9.
The Alaska Division of Forestry said that the fire near Chevak was 10 percent active as of June 9. That means that the fire was actively burning in 10 percent of its perimeter, while the rest was smoldering.
Three other wildfires are burning close to that one, ranging from 4,000 acres to nearly 6,000. The Division of Forestry says that lightning caused at least two of the fires. Togiak and Goodnews Bay residents reported heavy smoke covering their communities, but the fires are not threatening any structures so far.
Separately, smokejumpers contained a 300-acre wildfire 10 miles from Newtok, which was threatening some Native allotments.