More than 5,800 lightning strikes were reported in Alaska and neighboring states on Saturday, with more expected in the coming days.
An additional 5,000 to 10,000 lightning strikes are expected on Sunday and Monday, according to the Ferbank Weather Service.
“On normal thunderstorms, we see between 1,000 and 3,000 (when lightning strikes),” Erin Billing, a NWS meteorologist at Ferbanks, told CNN.
Billings adds: “This weekend we will be rolling north in Alaska until the beginning of next week.
The weather service said the warnings should be extended until Monday.
These lightning from the clouds to the ground are of great concern when they start new fires. “Many of our fires come from lightning,” Billing said.
The Bean Fire in central Alaska, west of Ferbanx, began with lightning between June 19 and June 23, burning more than 100,000 acres.
Lightning also caused a lime complex that is currently the largest fire in the state and consumed more than 775,000 acres by Saturday night.
Of these, at least 1.7 million hectares were burned by lightning alone.
This year is on the verge of becoming one of the biggest fire seasons ever recorded.
“It’s a little over a million hectares for the entire year,” said climate scientist Brian Bretchenner.
Alaskan fires usually begin in the last week of May and last until mid-August.
“We are at the peak of the thunderstorm but by the end of July and August we will be moving to the southwest, which could shut down the thunderstorm season,” Billing said.
Alaskan’s promise of relief usually begins in late July.
“This wildfire season could be historic if the humidity is delayed,” said Rick Tomman, a climate expert at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. “Now that we have enough fire, it will actually take some time to put it out.”
But much of southwestern Alaska is experiencing a mild drought, which will continue to ignite wildfires.
NS in Anchorage. “We are advising Alaskan residents to be on the lookout for weeks of fires,” says meteorologist Joe Wegman. “There is definitely a concern for July Fourth and if there are a lot of man-made startups.”
CNN Payton Major, Judson Jones, Brandon Miller and Joe Sutton contributed to this story