Alaska News Nightly: June 16, 2015

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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Sockeye Fire No. 1 Priority Fire in US
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
The Sockeye Fire burning north of Willow is now the number one priority fire in the country. Fire managers have set up a command post Houston High School. At least 400 firefighters will be on scene by the end of Tuesday.

Community Center Hub for Card Street Fire Relief Efforts
Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

The Community Center in Sterling continues to be the hub for relief efforts. Residents are sharing updates, along with food, clothes, phone chargers, everything. I was just opening my laptop to pull up the latest evacuation maps when a man who had just left the fire zone came over.

Wildfire Springs Up Near Dot Lake
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A wildfire caused by lightning in the interior is burning near the village of Dot Lake. The Tanana Slough Fire has burned about 500 acres on an island in the Tanana River. The island is about three miles north of the small Native community off the Alaska Highway near Tok.

Walker Signs Bill Repealing Film Tax Credits
Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Alaska’s film tax credit program has gone from comatose to dead.Gov. Bill Walker signed a bill ending the subsidies on Monday. The program was created in 2008, and it’s paid out about $50 million in credits to television shows, movies, and documentaries film in the state.

Murkowski Bill Would Impel Izembek Road, Undo EPA Efforts

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, DC
A bill by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski cleared an appropriations subcommittee Tuesday afternoon, but controversy is brewing over sections that would undo two of the Obama administration’s highest profile environmental efforts. The bill would also compel a land exchange to build an 11-mile road in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, to connect King Cove and Cold Bay.

Shell’s Oil Rig Departs Seattle for Dutch Harbor

Emily Schwing, KUCB – Unalaska
A giant drill rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell undocked Monday morning from Terminal 5 in Seattle. The Polar Pioneer is headed for Dutch Harbor. It’s expected to arrive in 12 days.

Audio Postcard: Naknek Preps for Salmon Season
Matt Martin, KDLG – Dillingham

Fishing communities across Bristol Bay are pulsing with action these days as armies of fisherman work to ready their vessels for the extra-large return of salmon this year. KDLG’s Matt Martin spent the weekend at the boatyard in Naknek and brings us this audio postcard.

Dozens Evacuate to Escape from Card Street Fire
Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

Dozens of people have been evacuated from properties in the vicinity of the Card Street fire. Larissa Notter and her husband, Jason, left their home Monday evening with as much as they could pack into their cars and headed to a family member’s house indefinitely. Notter says this isn’t the first time they’ve had to leave.

Capital of Mushing Evacuates Hundreds of Sled Dogs As Sockeye Smolders

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage
As the Sockeye Fire continues to burn near Willow, people are waiting to assess the toll on life and property. Thousands of animals were evacuated to other areas in the valley. The coordinated response was part of an emergency management plan that has averted a massive loss of life.