Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
A stronger than expected run of Yukon River Chinook salmon is allowing fishery managers to loosen subsistence harvest restrictions on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river. The better-than-anticipated run is still small by historical standards, but may signal that Yukon King stocks are beginning to rebuild.
The federal government has backed down in a long running legal dispute with the State of Alaska over ownership of an eastern interior river. State ownership the Mosquito Fork of the Forty Mile River will open it up to new activity, including mining.
A contractor is expected to begin work soon building up a portion of the Dalton Highway severely damaged earlier this year by overflow ice and flooding from the Sag River. It’s part of plan to armor the major North Slope oil field supply conduit against future ice and flood impacts.
The statewide wildfire response that’s been operating at peak for more than a month is ramping down. Wet weather over areas of the interior has calmed many fires.
Wolf hunting season is scheduled to open next month in and around Denali National Park, despite record low wolf numbers. This spring, Park biologists counted fewer than 50 Denali wolves, heightening a long running battle over the popularly viewed animals.
City of Fairbanks voters will consider a 5 percent sales tax on marijuana. The city council has approved putting the proposed retail tax before voters in the October municipal election. The tax is an effort to tap unknown revenue that legalized marijuana sales could provide.
Recent rain slowed wildfire growth around the interior, but there are still nearly 2 hundred active blazes, and over twenty staffed fires. The largest response is to a half-million-acre complex of fires near Tanana. Managers expect suppression and demobilization to take weeks.
The city of Fairbanks has launched a new web page to share and generate information about unsolved murder cases. Local police are tracking cases ranging from months to decades old.
Areas of the Interior have received rain in recent days, helping to slow wildfires that have charred more than 4.7 million acres, and fire season is far from over.
Yukon Quest champion Brent Sass remains at his wildfire-threatened compound in Eureka, but his dogs are safe in Fairbanks.
Smoke is spreading over a large area of the state, as wildfire activity grows. There were 56 new wildfires Monday statewide, and 238 active, mostly in interior and southwest Alaska.
One of four Fairbanks men fighting for exoneration from murder convictions was paroled last week. The Alaska Native community gathered in Fairbanks over the weekend to welcome home Marvin Roberts.
Dozens of new wildfires are burning around interior and western Alaska, as widespread lightning continues to cause new starts. An Alaska Interagency Coordination Center report listed 47 new fires Monday morning, with 186 active blazes state-wide.
A herbicide is proposed to eradicate an invasive weed that’s infested some Fairbanks area waters. The chemical application would target Elodea, a prolific aquatic weed known to choke out native plants and fish, and inhibit navigation.
Several wildfires are burning in the interior, including a growing blaze east of Delta Junction. Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Mowry says the Healy Lake fire made a major push west toward Delta beginning late Wednesday night and increased in size from 2,000 to up to 6,000 acres.
Lightning ignited two new wildfires east of Delta Junction Tuesday night. Fairbanks-Delta area state fire management officer Ed Sanford says the blazes near the small community of Healy Lake resulted from numerous lightning strikes that hit a swath of Alaska.
Ground water contamination at Eielson Air Force Base has spread off the facility. A chemical thought to originate from firefighting foam used at the base prior to the year 2000, is being detected in groundwater wells in a nearby subdivision.
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. Area state forester Jeff Hermans says suppression efforts are aimed at keeping the fire on the island.
A dipnetter’s group is seeking state assistance to repair a sketchy stretch of trail used to access the popular personal use fishery on the Copper River near Chitina. The old section of the Copper River Highway has deteriorated due to past year’s landslides.
Feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem speaks at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Friday night. The human rights activist’s visit was instigated by local politics.