Burn, burn, burn (the politics of forest fires in Alaska)

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A long way from a record, the Alaska fire season is winding down at last with the long-term consequences far from clear.

The good news is no one died, although a number of firefighters suffered burns after falling into ash pits while battling the Swan Lake and McKinley fires in the Southcentral part of the state, according to state Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Mowry.

The latter fire also claimed 52 homes, three businesses and 84 outbuildings, according to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.Meanwhile, the state’s largest city – caught between the Swan Lake fire to the south and the McKinley fire to the north – repeatedly suffered some of the worst air quality in the country. 

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