The summer of 1980, I worked on a fire crew in Kenia, Alaska. I'd long since dreamed of seeing Alaska, and working up there while doing so fulfilled that dream and then some. I'd heard all of the stories about mosquitoes, massive wildfires reaching hundreds of thousands of acres...far larger than any fires at that point in time in the contiguous U.S.
What I didn't expect, however, was that fires didn't act the same up there as they did in my prior experiences. Despite raining nearly 5 days a week, fires did break out, and to my amazement, they burned on water-soaked tundra! And once the fire got going, it consumed huge swaths of forest in an amazing amount of time.
I discovered this article on firefighting in Alaska, and it answered many of the questions that I didn't know I still had.