Nearly 2,000 acres in Selawik refuge ablaze; origins of fire unknown

A fire has burned through almost 2,000 acres since Tuesday morning in the Selawik National Wildlife refuge, about 30 miles southeast of Shungnak.

The fire was first spotted by a training crew who flew over the area about 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to Beth Ipsen, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service.

The fire is running through an estimated 1,982 acres of tundra and grass but is expected to stop when it reaches a snowpack nearby, Ipsen said. The fire is contained in a valley at the bottom of the Zane Hills near the Selawik river.

No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

The Alaska Fire Service found snowmachine tracks near the area, Ipsen said.

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