Environment

Rain Slows Wildfires in Southwest Alaska

Jul 1, 2013
Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

The Lime Hills Fire, the largest in the state, is no longer directly threatening Lime Village.  The state forestry division says the northern firebreak, control over the slopover fire, and good rainfall has secured the community enough that firefighters will leave the immediate area.  Structure protections will remain in place upriver of the community, while hotshot crews will be dispatched to Fairbanks area fires.  Pockets of the 200 thousand acre fire could survive the rains and spread as the summer goes on.  The fire has been burning since May 31st.

TNR Gold Corp.

A Vancouver based gold exploration company now knows how much gold might be at its Shotgun Ridge prospect located about 100 miles north of Dillingham, to the northeast of Wood Tikchick State park.  TNR Gold’s 2012 drilling program provided data that leads to an estimate of 705 thousand ounces of gold at Shotgun Ridge.  John Harrop is Vice President of Exploration for TNR Gold Corp.  He says this work builds on previous drilling and geophysical studies.

Fire Crews Fight Wildfire South of Sleetmute

Jul 1, 2013
Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

Fire crews focused this weekend on a blaze 19 miles south of Sleetmute.  29 crewmembers are building a firebreak on the northwest side in case the fire moves towards the village. They are hoping to starve the wildfire of fuel before it reaches any structures. The fire spread over 3 thousand acres in two days. It received limited rain this weekend.

Wildfires Continue In Southwest Alaska

Jun 28, 2013

The Lime Hills Fire received much some needed rain over the past couple days, up to 6 tenths of an inch.  The fire shrank 46 thousand acres over 24 hours, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.  It now stands at about 220 thousand acres, still by far the largest in the state.

The 6 acre fire that crossed the Stony River east of Lime Village has been caught.  A crew will continue to secure the slopover Friday. The Palmer based Midnight suns crew will depart for another fire.

Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

The massive Lime Hills fire has crossed the Stony River, which had been protecting Lime Village from the state’s largest wildfire.  It crossed about 6 miles east of the village due to a wind shift from a small localized storm.  A crew supported by 2 helicopters with buckets was unable to catch the new fire. Air tankers were initially ordered and then canceled.  Crews are now protecting the village from the east side.  Francis Mitchell is with the state Division of Forestry.

Alaska Volcano Observatory

Pavlof Volcano’s eruption has grounded flights into Cold Bay for the second day in a row.  Pen Air confirms that its planes did not make it into the Aleutian community as the ash cloud rose to 25 thousand feet.  The Alaska Volcano Observatory reports that the eruption has declined since yesterday and now consists of intermittent seismic tremor and explosions.

No ash fall was reported today [Wednesday] in King Cove, where trace amounts of ash fell Tuesday.  King Cove is located about 30 miles southwest of the volcano. 

BIA.gov

The Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs will get a firsthand look at why King Cove residents want a road through the Izembek refuge.

Alison Eskelin / DNR

The Calista-subsidiary hopes to continue non-invasive studies aimed at determining the feasibility of a hydroelectric dam at Chikuminuk Lake.

J Mills / National Park Service

The fire in Lake Clark National park has grown more than 12,000 acres  in the last 3 days. The fire has extended both east and west and is over 11 miles long. It’s scorched a small runway. The four member Helitack team from McGrath is providing point protection at cabins near the fire and 8 new smoke jumpers dropped Monday as the fire moves toward cabins on a small lake to the east.

July 10th is the deadline to submit comments to the National Park Service about Lake Clark National Park’s new land protection plan. The 30 page plan catalogs hundreds of sites that could be acquired to enhance the park’s mission. The top priority sites are dozens of small tracts clustered along the shore of Lake Clark. Most are quite small, but they collectively they cover a substantial portion of the shoreline. The park service says that right now there is no money set aside for buying land.

Paul Logan / Alaska Volcano Observatory

Pavlof volcano’s eruption has escalated over the past several hours with new lava fountaining and its highest ash cloud of the most recent eruption. USGS Geophysicist Dave Schneider says late last night Pavlof’s seismic tremor ramped up until about 2 a.m.

"We're seeing greatly elevated temperatures in satellite data, we're seeing a plume rising up as well, reported by pilots up to 25,000 feet," said Schneider.

Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

A new wildfire from this weekend is burning in the Kilbuck Mountains, 20 miles northwest of Wood Tikchik State Park.  The fire is 637 acres of burning tundra.  The fire will not be fought unless it threatens any structures or people.

3 fires in Southwest Alaska are threatening the communities of Crooked Creek, Lime Village, and Stony River. Lime Hills, the largest fire in the state at 170 thousand acres,  has 2 crews, about 80 people working the fire. 8 new smokejumpers dropped yesterday east of the community. Francis Mitchell is with the state division of forestry.

Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

The Lime Hills fire has grown to over 150 thousand acres and is the largest in the state.  76 fire fighters worked Sunday to improve the fire break between the southern edge of this fire and Lime Village.   The community sits across the Stony River from the fire.

Another 20 firefighters joined yesterday from a Lower-48 hotshot crew.  On the northwest side, the fire was running and torching trees, with up to 10 foot flames. Crews are now prepping additional cabins and allotments for protection.

KDLG

For their last day of the week-long academy, students guided clients for an afternoon of fly fishing out Mission Lodge in Aleknagik.

3 New Wildfires Burn Near Crooked Creek

Jun 21, 2013

Near the Kuskokwim River, fire crews are working on 3 new lightning caused fires southwest of Crooked Creek, all within 2 miles of each other.  

An 80 acre fire burns at Village Creek along with a 40 acre fire at Qguahaydok  in tundra and black spruce.  Near the 8 acre Jung Juk  Creek fire, 4 initial attack squad crewmembers are laying hose and sprinklers for structure protection.

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