Environment

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.

One of the state’s largest fires continues to threaten the interior community of Lime Village, aproaching as close as a half mile on Thursday. The raging wildfire  jumped across established fire lines Thursday to burn 80 acres near the village. Francis Mitchell is a Public Information officer with the division of Forestry.

"A local storm came in, from the northeast with some wind and a little squall.  It caused a break near the village.  Air tanker retardant drops and smokejumpers went in late Thursday and were able to catch the break," said Mitchell.

Wildfire Burns Within 3.5 Miles of Lime Village

Jun 20, 2013
Alaska Division of Forestry

Lime Village is safe at the moment from a growing wildfire. Across the river, hotshot crews are setting burnout fires and working to protect structures belonging to residents. At 78 thousand acres, the fire is still expanding.

Wildfire Burning in Lake Clark National Park

Jun 20, 2013
Photos by Arno Krumm

A wildfire is burning in the northwest corner of Lake Clark National Park.  The Kristin Creek fire has burnt about 30 acres, after a lighting strike ignited the tundra and black spruce Tuesday.

There’s a small airstrip, private mining camp, and cabins under the watch of 8 smokejumpers. Megan Richotte is the Chief of Interpretation for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. 

Veniaminof Volcano Lava Flows 1/3 Mile into Caldera

Jun 19, 2013
Bob Murphy / Alaska Volcano Observatory

The lava flow from the Veniaminof volcano now extends nearly a third of a mile down the volcanic cone, while ash puffs are reaching up to 15 thousand feet.  The lava flow is about 160 feet wide, stretching about down the cone into its enormous caldera full of glacial ice.  There the super hot lava is melting some snow and ice according to UAF’s Jessica Larsen, the Acting Coordinating Scientist for the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

KDLG

A long-awaited run-of-the-river hydro project may provide most of the village's electrical needs.

U.S. House Resources Committee

A bill working its way through the House of Representatives would open Bristol Bay to gas lease sales in a new leasing plan.   The legislation, however,  faces a skeptical Senate and a very long road to implementation.The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act passed the House Resources Committee last week. House republicans are again pushing to open much of the nation’s currently closed waters for drilling, including Bristol Bay.  This would scrap President Obama’s 5 year leasing plan and require a new one by 2015.

National Weather Service Anchorage Forecast Office

A red flag warning is in effect for critical fire weather conditions north of Iliamna today. Unseasonably warm temperatures and dry conditions have primed southwest Alaska for potential wildfires. The warning extends north from Iliamna to the Lower Kuskokwim valley. Meteorologist Michael Lawson says the dry air is a central factor, as relative humidity levels drop as low as 12 to 15 percent.

Kristi Bulock

Due to a late green up and unseasonably warm temperatures, Southwest Alaska’s fire risk stands at very high to extreme.  State fire officials report 21 wildfires already this year in the southwest portion of the state. Tom Dean is the acting Fire Management Officer for Southwest AK for Division of Forestry. 

Researchers at McGill University say the hybrid offspring grew faster and out-competed wild counterparts in simulated environments. 

Tim Plucinsk / Alaska Volcano Observatory/USGS

Alaska now has three active volcanoes.  The Veniminoff volcano on the Alaska Peninsula is releasing steam and rumbling seismic sensors. Scientists first detected low level seismic tremor late last week.  That’s been slowly increasing since Friday. And thanks to a FAA camera 22 miles away in the community of Perryville, geologists have seen a wispy steam plume coming from the main vent.

Michelle Coombs s a Research Geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Pavlof Volcano Grounds Two Flights

Jun 6, 2013
Brandon Wilson / Alaska Volcano Observatory

Pavlof volcano’s ash plume grounded at least two flights Wednesday.  Its ash cloud stretches about 25 miles to the west of the volcano.  Pilots early Wednesday morning estimated the cloud to be between 14,000 and 18,000 feet, which is where Pen Air flies. The airline canceled two flights to Cold Bay Wednesday.  Missy Anderson is Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

A "controlled burn" at the scrap metal pile spread out of control Saturday afternoon.

As the ice clears out from the last of Alaska’s beaches, it’s the time of year when shorelines become littered with old fishing gear, machinery, and cargo from ships sailing across the globe. Cleaning up Alaska’s vast coastline is a huge undertaking, but the Alaska Marine Stewardship Foundation is starting by sponsoring clean up projects in 9 communities around the state.

Three Alaskan tribes will receive more than 400 thousand dollars through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support conservation projects.

The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island will put 200 thousand dollars towards fighting rats.  The community will evaluate current rat stations, defense strategies and control techniques within the current rat prevention program.

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