With 101 wildfires still burning across the state, the season total was at 602 wildfires and 5.05 million acres of scorched earth, surpassing the 1957 record by more than 3,000 acres, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks.
``We are going to go well over that by the time this year is over,'' said fire information officer Kristy Bryner.
Last year, wildfires nationwide burned just over 4.9 million acres.
The agency said the cost of fighting the fires in Alaska is more than $55 million.
The 2004 summer wildfire season shows no indication of slowing down, at least not for the next few days, Bryner said.
Temperatures on Wednesday were near 90 degrees in some areas of the Interior, with low humidity.
On Tuesday, Anchorage tied a 1936 record of 43 consecutive days above 70 degrees. By mid-afternoon Wednesday, the temperature had reached 69 degrees.
Firefighters continued to focus their efforts on two large wildfires, the Central Complex of fires, 100 miles northeast of Fairbanks, and the Taylor Complex fires near the Canada border in eastern Alaska.
Several communities near the town of Central, pop. 119, continued to be threatened by the Central complex, now totaling 324,000 acres. A travel advisory remained in place for the Steese Highway.
The Arctic Circle Hot Springs resort was closed to the public on Wednesday.
``It is not exactly closed, the Fire Service took it over,'' said resort manager Larry Rogers. The resort opened July 4 after a long closure because of a downturn in business and the Alaska Fire Service moved in on July 13, he said.
The Central Complex fires have grown in some areas, with trees going up like torches.
A forecast of stronger winds Thursday has people on edge, Rogers said.
``Everyone is nervous about tomorrow,'' he said.
As many as 609 firefighting personnel were assigned to the Central Complex, which was started by lightning on July 13. So far, the fires in the complex have destroyed seven homes and eight outbuildings.
The Taylor Complex in eastern Alaska continues to cause problems, Bryner said. The fires were threatening structures in several towns, including outbuildings near the tourist stop of Chicken.
Fire crews continued to patrol the Taylor Highway because the fire had advanced on both sides of the road, Bryner said.
The Taylor fires began June 26 and also were caused by lightning. As of Wednesday, the fires had burned 1.6 million acres.
``There is not going to be much of a tourist season this summer for much of the area,'' Bryner said.
A fire on the Kenai Peninsula north of Glacier Creek grew to more than 1,030 acres on Wednesday. Eight U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel and a 16-person Nikolai fire crew were clearing trees and brush around cabins in the area. The fire was three-quarters of a mile from the nearest cabin.