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Alaska fire season calms, allowing fire crews to head south to help battle lower 48 wildfires

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Seasonal rains have helped tamp down Alaska wildfires, allowing fire managers to send crews south to help battle lower 48 wildfires.

Nearly 600 firefighters and support staff from Alaska have been deployed south in the past week. Sam Harrell, a spokesman with the Bureau of Land Management's Alaska Fire Service, says several hundred more fire crews are set to depart Alaska in coming days.

Harrell says remaining fires in Alaska are being monitored, with crews assigned to mop up at some of the blazes.

Alaska's fire season is officially the second biggest on record. More than 5.12 million acres — or 8,010 square miles — has burned this year. The record is 6.6 million acres burned in 2004.

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