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Alaska had an unprecedented pair of fire seasons during the summers of 2004 and 2005. Alaska's boreal forest is biologically programmed to burn approximately every 150 years. Mild snow cover, and a lack of summer rain extend the fire season and increase the likelihood that large fires will occur. These fires are often in remote areas, and are not supressed. Fire is recognized as a natural force in the boreal forest ecosystem, however it appears to be taking a more dominant role in recent years than it historically has played.