Alaska News

Tyonek fire 100% contained

APRN Alaska News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:11

The Tyonek Fire is now considered 100% contained. It burned about 1,900 acres. Most of the crews and resources are now being used on the Funny River Fire instead, though some personnel and equipment will stay behind to make sure the fire stays under control.

No one was injured in this fire. However, fire officials say locals should pay attention to standing trees that burned and may topple in strong winds. The fire started on May 19 and burned between Tyonek and Beluga villages.

A photo of the Tyonek Fire taken on May 19 by the Alaska Division of Forestry.

Categories: Alaska News

Rain, Lack Of Wind Slows Funny River Fire Growth

APRN Alaska News - Wed, 2014-05-28 12:06

(Image courtesy Alaska Inter-Agency Management Team)

Fire crews Wednesday morning mapped the Funny River fire out to be nearly 183,300 acres.

Tom Lavagnino, with the incident management team, says the rain has helped a little bit, but it’s not the biggest reason the fire’s growth has slowed.

“The bigger factor, probably, is there’s lack of wind,” Lavagnino said. ”The first couple days and the aggressive growth period were due to wind-driven fire, and that hasn’t happened yesterday.”

Lavignino says the fire line along the western edge is well-established and secure. He also says a fuel break established by the community over the past several years has played a large role in containing the northern edge of the fire.

“Kudos to them,” Lavagnino said. “They’re very successful in stopping the fire and having retardant being able to reach the ground at that point and mitigate the fire so the hand crews can come in in the fire trucks and suppress the fire a little more – and safely.”

For now, most of the fire crews’ efforts will be on the northeast and eastern borders of the fire.

There are 713 personnel working on the Funny River fire.

All evacuation advisories in the area have been lifted.

There is a community meeting scheduled Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Funny River Community Center.

Categories: Alaska News

Funny River Fire Brings Community Together

APRN Alaska News - Wed, 2014-05-28 10:00

Hooligan’s  Lodging became one of Soldotna’s main hubs during the evacuation. Though most evacuees have returned home, the hotel is ready in case the fire moves toward the community again.

The lobby of Hooligan’s Lodging and Saloon looks more like a garage sale than a hotel:

“We have like toothpaste and toothbrushes and shampoo and conditioner and lotion and soap.”

The hotel’s owner, Molly Poland, walks through the piles of things donated by community members. They’re for the people who were evacuated because of the Funny River Fire.

“So we have cat litter because there were lots of cats and they didn’t remember the cat litter, so I was like, “let’s get that handled.”

130 people and 30 animals stayed at the long wooden hotel over the weekend for free. Poland says she turned away paying customers because she just wanted to help.

“I didn’t expect for people to be so grateful… but one lady looked at me yesterday and said, ‘you’re going straight to heaven,’ and that made me tear up. And this morning when I went to my car and it was raining I started crying, and I was like, ‘why am I crying over rain?’ But I was just so happy because I know all these people are displaced and they want their homes.”

Other businesses and community members chipped in as well. People opened up their homes, offered free childcare, boarded dogs in kennels for free, gave away pet food—the list goes on.

Odie’s Deli was one of the restaurants that offered discounted and free food to evacuees and fire fighters. Owner Melody Symington says she just wanted to give back:

“I’m truly amazed by the outpouring of this community it’s just amazing how they’ve all pulled together and people just giving their own money and their own resources.”

Back at Hooligan’s, the evacuees have gone home but the work continues. April Fulk is scrubbing the floors of one of the hotel rooms to rid the place of dog smells.

“My mom always had me on the floor cleaning with my hands, so that’s what I’ve done.”

She says she’s volunteering to clean because Soldotna is her home. She says the fire has brought people together in a way she’s never seen.

“Wow. An amazing amount of support, encouragement, wisdom was shared. Everybody just came together. It was just amazing actually.”

Fulk says the community is trying to share another message as well.

“Thanks to all the fire fighters, the crew in the air. Just, thank you. It seems like that’s not enough to say, but I guess as long as we keep pulling together we can show them our gratitude.”

Hooligan’s owner Poland says she knows they aren’t out of danger yet. She says they’re holding on to the items people have donated until the fire is far away from the community.

 

http://www.alaskapublic.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/27-fire-donations-pkg.mp3

 

 

 

 

Categories: Alaska News

Rain Falls On Funny River Fire, Provides Some Relief

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:50

Public Information Officer Jim Schwarber briefs the media about the Funny Rover fire on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage)

The Funny River fire has grown to more than 182,200 acres.

After a streak of warm, dry weather, firefighters are seeing a break in the weather, with rain falling Tuesday during the early morning hours and temperatures in the 50s.

“The rain that fell this morning was enough to knock the fire down, but certainly not enough to put it out,” Rob Allen, the incident commander for the Funny River fire, said.

Officials say the weather pattern should hold for at least the next couple days.

“We’re gonna see waves of precipitation as they move up through Cook Inlet on up into our area and then up into the Mat-Su Valley,” Scott Berg, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said. “That should help quite a bit with kinda keeping everything calmed down.”

Allen says there has been enough rain to dampen the grass, which should keep the fire from spotting and creeping ahead. But, it will take quite a bit more rain to affect the black spruce, which has been one of the fire’s main fuels.

“Normally we look at three days of good rain in a row,” Allen said. “Any time you get a break in that and there’s some sun that comes out, the grasses will dry incredibly fast, the rest of the fine fuels will dry really fast, and then you’re back over starting at square one.”

So far, five structures have been lost in the fire – one outbuilding and four recreational cabins. None of the structures were accessible by road.

With the western edge of the fire mostly contained. Most of the focus is on the northeast portion of the fire, where it jumped the Kenai River.

Bernie Pineda, a fire information officer with the Alaska Inter-Agency Team, says they will coordinate with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to see what, if anything, will be done along the southern and eastern edges, which remain mostly unchecked.

“It’s kind of a roadless area, so the accessibility is gonna be very, very difficult to say the least. So we’re either gonna have to hike in, drop people off using helicopters or other ways, and spiking them out,” Pineda said. ”So, it’s their call as to how much or how little they want us to do on that one on this end of the perimeter itself.”

There are currently 689 personnel working on the fire.

Evacuation advisories have been lifted for Kasilof and the Kenai Keys subdivision.

Categories: Alaska News

Alaska News Nightly: May 27, 2014

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:29

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Rains Fall on Kenai Fire, But More Needed to Help
Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

After a streak of warm, dry weather, firefighters are seeing a break in the weather, with rain falling Tuesday during the early morning hours and temperatures in the 50s. Officials said the weather pattern should hold for at least the next few days. There has been enough rain to dampen the grass, which should keep the fire from spotting and creeping ahead. But, it will take quite a bit more rain to affect the black spruce, which has been one of the fire’s main fuels.

Evacuation Order Lifted for Kenai Residents
Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

The fire management team lifted the evacuation order this morning for Funny River Road from Mile 7 to the end of the road. Homeowners near the road remain under an evacuation alert, which means they should be ready to leave again if the fire gets worse in that area. Residents of Funny River Road were evacuated over the weekend. Many left with just a few necessities and haven’t been back home since.

Begich, Coast Guard Admiral Visit Aleutian Islands
Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

This weekend, Senator Mark Begich and Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo made a brief appearance in the Aleutian Islands. The officials shared their vision of how Unalaska — and other coastal communities — will have to support economic activity in the Arctic.

Research Center to Monitor Acid Levels
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Remotely operated vehicles will be plying Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska this summer, measuring acid levels. The float and glider vehicles are the latest technology deployed through a long running monitoring project overseen by University of Alaska Fairbanks Ocean Acidification Research Center Director Jeremy Mathis.

Utility Has Plan to Bring Natural Gas to Fairbanks Area
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Interior Gas Utility has laid out a plan for getting natural gas to thousands of homes in North Pole and other outlying areas of Fairbanks. The non-profit public utilities plan covers more than $200 million of work, spread over six years.

Golden Valley Electric Loses Biggest Customer
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Golden Valley Electric Association is scheduled to lose one of its biggest customers this week – the Flint Hills Resources refinery in North Pole. But GVEA is working on plans to hook up another industrial customer next year that will buy nearly as much electricity as the refinery.

Alaska Farmers Eligible for USDA Transportation Help
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Starting July 21, farmers in Alaska can sign up for  the US Department of Agriculture’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program. Under the 2014 Farm Bill, farmers outside the contiguous US can now receive a portion of the costs of shipping their agricultural products over long distances.

Uncertainty Hovers Over Fishing Season
Charles Enoch, KYUK – Bethel

A few fishermen from the communities in the Kuskokwim caught king salmon before the scheduled closures last week.  In a typical year the first catch is a time of joy but this year it’s bringing uncertainty.

Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School Graduate Profile
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

High school graduation is an accomplishment worth celebrating for all students. But for some the achievement is that much sweeter, because of the obstacles they had to overcome. KTOO profiles profiles a graduate of Juneau’s Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School, who has been living on her own for about a year.

 

 

Categories: Alaska News

Evacuation Order Lifted for Kenai Residents

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:12

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The fire management team lifted the evacuation order this morning for Funny River Road from Mile 7 to the end of the road. Homeowners near the road remain under an evacuation alert, which means they should be ready to leave again if the fire gets worse in that area. Residents of Funny River Road were evacuated over the weekend.

Many left with just a few necessities and haven’t been back home since.Some are staying with friends or family in the area. Others have spent the past few days sleeping in shelters, RVs, or tents. A few local hotels opened their doors to the evacuees, like Hooligans Lodging and Saloon.

Categories: Alaska News

Begich, Coast Guard Admiral Visit Aleutian Islands

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:10

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This weekend, Senator Mark Begich and Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo made a brief appearance in the Aleutian Islands. The officials shared their vision of how Unalaska — and other coastal communities — will have to support economic activity in the Arctic.

Categories: Alaska News

Research Center to Monitor Acid Levels

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:09

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Remotely operated vehicles will be plying Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska this summer, measuring acid levels. The float and glider vehicles are the latest technology deployed through a long running monitoring project overseen by University of Alaska Fairbanks Ocean Acidification Research Center Director Jeremy Mathis.

The six-year study has previously relied on measurements taken from fixed buoys, or twice a year from a ship.  The battery and solar powered ROV’s will be at sea for five months, piloted by a technician in Seattle.

Acidification has been observed to be increasing in the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound during the six-year study.  The change is caused by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, which dissolves in the ocean, and reduces carbonate available to creatures, like crabs and shrimp, to build and maintain their shells.  Mathis says Alaska has an additional source of trouble: melting tidewater glaciers.

Mathis said a next step in the project would be documenting the impact, by checking for thinning shells. The acidification monitoring project is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Alaska Ocean Observing System, the National Science Foundation and the state.

Categories: Alaska News

Golden Valley Electric Loses Biggest Customer

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:06

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Golden Valley Electric Association is scheduled to lose one of its biggest customers this week – the Flint Hills Resources refinery in North Pole. But GVEA is working on plans to hook up another industrial customer next year that will buy nearly as much electricity as the refinery.

Categories: Alaska News

Alaska Farmers Eligible for USDA Transportation Help

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:03

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Starting July 21, Alaska farmers can sign up for  the US Department of Agriculture’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program.

Under the 2014 Farm Bill, farmers outside the contiguous US can now receive a portion of the costs of shipping their agricultural products over long distances.

The announcement of the new plan was made last Friday by USDA Farm Service Agency administrator Juan Garcia.

Danny Consenstein is the director of the USDA Farm Service Agency. Consenstein said Alaska peony, hay and barley growers will all benefit.  Fish producers are not included in the plan, but oyster farmers in Southeast and Prince William Sound can take advantage of the program.

The reimbursement program also pays producers for the costs of  buying supplies needed for planting at the start of the season. The benefits to producers are based on costs incurred each fiscal year, subject to an $8,000 cap.  Reimbursements are usually paid back in the spring, Consenstein said.

The ruling also affects Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and other islands far from the US mainland.

The  USDA will spend  $1.8 million in  transportation offset costs for producers enrolled in the program in the last year.

Categories: Alaska News

Uncertainty Hovers Over Fishing Season

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:02

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A few fishermen from the communities in the Kuskokwim caught king salmon before the scheduled closures last week.  In a typical year the first catch is a time of joy but this year it’s bringing uncertainty.

Categories: Alaska News

Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School Graduate Profile

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 18:01

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High school graduation is an accomplishment worth celebrating for all students. But for some the achievement is that much sweeter, because of the obstacles they had to overcome. KTOO profiles profiles a graduate of Juneau’s Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School, who has been living on her own for about a year.

Categories: Alaska News

Bill Encourages Tribes to Work With State on Jurisdiction

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 16:04

The sponsor of the Safe Families and Villages Bill, U.S. Senator Mark Begich, said the bill encourages tribes to work with the state of Alaska to develop agreements on tribal court jurisdiction. But he said it also gives tribes a way to take on added responsibilities through an agreement with the federal government.

Begich, a Democrat, says that takes away the state’s veto authority over tribal jurisdiction that was in an earlier version of the bill.

“What I tried to is to make sure that the law was stronger in the sense of the relationship it would have with the Department of Justice vs. the state of Alaska because the state of Alaska, as you know doesn’t recognize tribes,” he said. “They wanted total control over making the decision. And we felt that was not appropriate.”

Native American Rights Fund staff attorney Natalie Landreth said another important part of the bill is it amends the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to delete section 910, which had been inserted by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican.

“It had this ridiculous way that it was formed where it said we’re going to add a savings clause, meaning you can do everything that you were doing before, but then it said ‘except Alaska.’ and that ‘except Alaska’ muddied the waters so heavily that someone like me who litigates could not have explained to a court in a coherent way ‘your honor, there’s a savings clause and an exemption and here’s what it means.’ you cannot have both,” Landreth said.

Landreth said tribes need the added authority because the state provides inadequate law enforcement in dozens of villages.

“Previous to the VAWA reauthorization, in 2012, tribes have been exercising a lot of civil authority over domestic violence in their villages” Landreth said. “Because people often forget, they’re often the only entity there, the only government entity for hundreds if not thousands of miles.”

Attorney General Michael Geraghty said the goal of the Safe Families and Villages bill is laudable.

“I certainly agree with the goal which is to try to reduce crime and improve public safety in these communities,” Geraghty said. “And the state’s working on that in conjunction with tribes and has been for several months. So I agree with the goal but I disagree with the means by which this bill tries to accomplish that.”

Geraghty said the state has been working with Tanana Chiefs Conference for the past couple of months to create an agreement that would accomplish the same goal, with one caveat.

“It does empower tribes to deal with offenses, certain offenses, enumerated offenses within their communities if the offender has agreed to be diverted to tribal court,” Geraghty said.

Murkowski had supported an earlier version of the bill but didn’t sign on as co-sponsor of this version. The Safe Families and Villages Act now awaits scheduling on the Senate floor.

Categories: Alaska News

Evacuation Order Lifted for Funny River Road Residents

APRN Alaska News - Tue, 2014-05-27 14:45

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Residents of the Funny River Road community were allowed to start returning to their homes as state fire officials lifted the evacuation order at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Although all evacuation orders have been suspended at this time, residents of the community were cautioned that there is still an evacuation advisory in place which could result in another evacuation order should conditions change.

A NASA satellite image of the Funny River Fire from 1:45 p.m. on May 26th. Active fire areas are outlined in red. Photo courtesy: NASA

The fire is burning on more than 182,200 acres and is considered 30 percent contained. Firefighters will focus attention Tuesday on the northeast end of the fire near the Kenai Keys subdivision, where Monday, the blaze jumped the Kenai River at the west end of Skilak Lake.

Fire breaks and bulldozer lines have been completed for much of the western end of the Funny River fire.

Kasilof is not currently under immediate threat. Fire officials say cooler temperatures, diminished winds and rain are assisting their efforts, but it is estimated that rain would need to fall for three days resulting in at least a half an inch of rain before it would start to impact the fire.

Six-hundred-eighty-nine firefighters are battling the fire. No major injuries have been reported.

Two community meetings will be held this evening. An information gathering at 6 p.m. will be held at the Tustumena School and at 8 p.m., locals can attend a meeting at the Soldotna High School.

Smoke from the Funny River wildfire is being reported as far north as Fairbanks.

Earlier story below—-

The fire was pushed by winds again yesterday, but those winds were diminishing. The fire has turned back on itself and away from Kasilof. It has expanded northwards towards Skilak Lake.

Some people have been able to return to their properties after evacuations from the Funny River and Kenai Keys areas.

A number of facilities were being used as shelters.

The fire has taken something more than 175,000 acres and there are hundreds fighting it.

Categories: Alaska News

Tyonek Fire Almost Contained

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-05-26 17:05

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The Tyonek fire, which started a week ago Monday, is currently burning at just over 1,900 acres. The blaze is between the villages of Tyonek and Beluga. Tyonek fire incident commander Bob Allbee reports the fire is now 85% contained with full containment expected by tomorrow, May 28th. 

 

Categories: Alaska News

Feds Updating Development Scenarios for Chukchi

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-05-26 17:02

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The federal government on Friday released a status update on the court ordered revision of an Environmental Impact Statement for Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found in an April ruling that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) had underestimated how much oil may be recoverable in Arctic Ocean development.

The Wilderness Society’s arctic program director Lois Epstein said it appears BOEM is approaching the work of revising the development scenarios for the EIS in a thorough manner, but she said BOEM should not set a limit such as the 10 month time frame that was proposed to the court.

“As an engineer I know these analysis take quite a bit of time” she said. “The modeling takes a long time to get it right. And we think they should just take the time that’s needed. If anything, they should give the court a longer time frame and then back off should they finish it sooner.”

Epstein said BOEM officials had indicated that overtime may be needed to get the report finished within the 10 months. BOEM will issue the next status report on July 22nd.

Categories: Alaska News

New Fisheries Might Be Headed to Unalaska

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-05-26 17:01

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Next year will likely bring new fisheries to the western Aleutian
Islands, now that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued its
final report on the way commercial fishing affects an endangered population
of Steller sea lions.

The agency came out in favor of allowing more fishing in its environmental
impact statement, or EIS, on Friday morning.

This is a major move for the service. As recently as 2010, the agency was
trying to close fishing grounds in the Bering Sea and Aleutians. Biologists
didn’t want the Steller sea lions to have to compete with fishermen for
pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific Cod.

But the fishing industry argued there wasn’t enough scientific proof
that commercial harvests were putting pressure on the endangered species.

The issue went to court, and a federal judge ordered NMFS to go back to the
drawing board. The agency was required to come up with the new
environmental impact statement, which looks at the scientific and economic
implications of different protection plans.

Last year, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council told biologists
they preferred an option that would relax some bans on commercial fishing.

The service has been studying that plan ever since. The agency ruled more
fishing — at certain times of year, in certain areas — is not likely to
jeopardize sea lions.

Now, NMFS will start turning that into a federal regulation. It could go
into effect as early as January 2015.

Categories: Alaska News

Label Certifies Much of AK Salmon

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-05-26 17:00



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The leading global seafood sustainability label currently certifies much of Alaska’s salmon harvest as sustainable. But only a few companies can use the label.

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Categories: Alaska News

Crews Continue to Battle Funny River Fire; Rain Forecasted

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-05-26 16:57

May 25 video by Sonya Wellman – Alaska Public Media

The Funny River Fire continued to burn the central Kenai Peninsula this week. As of Monday afternoon, it’s estimated to have burned more than 158,000 acres with 30% containment. Funny River Road from Mile 7 to the end was evacuated on Sunday afternoon. The Kenai Keys area was put on evacuation alert.

The fire is mainly burning within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, though it has pushed outside those boundaries over the last few days.

The Funny River Fire forced homeowners to seek shelter over the weekend. Photo by Sonya Wellman – Alaska Public Media

Sarah McAlpin said she lives on the Funny River side of the Kenai Keys. She and her husband and their dog left home with only some medications, documents, and a few valuables.

She and other evacuees attended one of the many public information sessions at Redoubt Elementary School in Soldotna. It’s serving as a Red Cross shelter for people displaced by the fire.

Kris Ericksen is a public information officer with the Alaska Incident Management Team. She’s helping get the word out to residents about the most recent fire updates.

She says there have been no injuries. And, at this point, there are no structures known to have been destroyed.

She also said there is no known structural damage in the Funny River area.

However, Ericksen said it’s hard to determine if there has or has not been damage to more rural cabins without being able to get on the ground and check.

She said crews have are focusing their efforts on the northern edge of the fire.

Michelle Weston is an information officer for the fire management team. She says the wind has been a major factor in the fire so far.

She says it has pushed the fire deeper into the wildlife refuge.

Weston said there are about 600 people involved in the firefighting effort. That includes Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters, water scoopers from Canada, management officials from the Yukon, and teams from the Lower 48.

Kenai Borough Mayor Mike Navarre said it’s been a community, statewide and regional effort. And, he said he hopes the weather will help over the next few days.

The National Weather Service said it could begin raining about midnight Monday night and continue through Tuesday. Scattered showers were expected Wednesday and Thursday.

But for now, residents like Sarah McAlbin will wait, watch, and hope for some news that the fire is moving away from their homes.

The Red Cross shelter in Soldotna has open cot space and is providing some meals and snacks for people displaced by the fire.

Alaska DNR – Division of Forestry released this map of the Funny River Fire Monday morning .

 

Categories: Alaska News

Alaska News Nightly: May 26, 2014

APRN Alaska News - Mon, 2014-05-26 16:38

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

Funny River Fire Burns More than 158,000 Acres
Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

The Funny River Fire continued to burn the central Kenai Peninsula this week. As of Monday afternoon, it’s estimated to have burned more than 158,000 acres with 30% containment. On Sunday afternoon, Funny River Road from Mile 7 to the end of the road was evacuated. The Kenai Keys area also was put on evacuation alert.

Anchorage Air Quality Affected by Funny River Fire
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Smoke from the Kenai Peninsula wildfire drifted into Anchorage and Eagle River this weekend. The Anchorage Municipal air quality hot line reported Monday afternoon that conditions in Anchorage are considered moderate, but for Eagle River residents, the index is 110, which means the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Providence Hospital pulmunologist Dr. Mark Martynowicz said people with sensitive respiratory systems should be cautious about spending time outdoors.

Tyonek Fire Almost Contained
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The Tyonek Fire, which started a week ago Monday, is currently burning at just over 1,900 acres. The blaze is between the villages of Tyonek and Beluga. State fire information officer Sam Harrel said the fire is considered to be 70% contained with full containment expected by Wednesday.

China Lifts Ban on AK Shellfish
The Associated Press

China has lifted a five month-long ban on live shellfish from U.S. West Coast waters. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) released a statement Friday saying the ban had been lifted. The ban had particularly affected the Washington and Alaska shellfish industry.

Feds Updating Development Scenarios for Chukchi
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The federal government on Friday released a status update on the court ordered revision of an Environmental Impact Statement for Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found in an April ruling that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) had underestimated how much oil may be recoverable in Arctic Ocean development.

New Fisheries Might Be Headed to Unalaska
Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

Next year will likely bring new fisheries to the western Aleutian Islands, now that the National Marine Fisheries Service has issued its final report on the way commercial fishing affects an endangered population of Steller sea lions.

Label Certifies Much of AK Salmon
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

The leading global seafood sustainability label currently certifies much of Alaska’s salmon harvest as sustainable. But only a few companies can use the label.

StoryCorps:  Paratrooper Justin Hayward Connaher

StoryCorps traveled to Alaska in February to record the voices of our service men and women. At five, Justin Hayward Connaher knew he was going to be a paratrooper.  At 38, he considers himself a survivor.  As part of StoryCorps at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Justin spoke with his friend John Pennell about one of his earliest jumps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Alaska News
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