ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The nation’s most expensive wildfire this year is one that started in June and still continues to burn on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.
The Swan Lake fire has so far cost about $46 million to fight, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
The Anchorage Daily News reports that puts it ahead of the Walker Fire in California, which the Idaho center says cost about $29 million to fight
A lightning strike in June started the Alaska fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Rain later reduced fire activity, but it flared again in August’s hot, dry conditions.
Fire officials say that as of Thursday, it has burned more than 261 sq. miles (676 sq. kilometers) and was 57 percent contained. There are 265 firefighters battling the wildlife.