There are 71 forest fires burning in Alaska right now. Three are to the east and south of Fairbanks: the Mississippi, the Stuart Creek and the Caribou Creek. Together they have consumed 165,000 acres of tundra and forest. More than 500 firefighters are battling them, and everyday they burn, another $25 million goes up in smoke.
Most fires in this state are allowed to burn because they bring about the rejuvenation of forest lands. But when fires threaten towns or villages, firefighters go into action. Did you know that you can train to be a firefighter at the age of eighteen? Some of my students are in training, and some of the men in our village are fighting fires right now. The pay is good supplemental summertime income.