Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
Thursday marked the 31st day this summer that it hit or surpassed 80 degrees in Fairbanks breaking a record set in 2004.
A new study finds evidence of increasing wildfire frequency. University of Illinois Ph.D. candidate Ryan Kelly’s project analyzed drill cores from the bottom of lakes in the Yukon Flats. The cores provide a record of sediment accumulation dating back 10,000 years, including charcoal particles deposited by wildfires.
Fairbanks residents turned out strongly earlier this week to speak out on natural gas service applications. The Regulatory Commission of Alaska held a hearing as part its review of applications from Fairbanks Natural Gas and the borough’s Interior Gas Utility.
It was a deadly weekend for soldiers. Officials say Fort Wainwright soldier died in when a jet boat lost power on the Klutina River and capsized, and another drowned while swimming at the Chena Lakes Recreation area.
Resolution of the Straughn wood boiler case in Fairbanks appears imminent. The state Department of Environmental Conservation sued Fairbanks residents Andrew and Gloria Straughn for creating a public nuisance by operating two wood fired boilers that smoked out neighbors, including students and staff at Wood River Elementary school.
The proposed Livengood Mining project would not break even at current gold prices. A feasibility study released by project developer International Tower Hill Mines shows profitable operation of the gold mine north of Fairbanks would require prices higher than $1,500 an ounce. Gold is currently selling in the 13 hundred dollar an ounce range, more than 500 dollars below its 2011 peak.
Specific items are being requested to help flood impacted communities in the interior, including Galena, where the most severe and wide ranging break up damage occurred. State Division of Homeland security and emergency management spokesman Jeremy Zidek urges people wanting to help to consider what’s needed before making donations.
FEMA Region 10 Administrator Ken Murphy is in Alaska this week to keep an eye on disaster response for Yukon River flood victims. Murphy spoke with APRN on Wednesday on the agency’s ultimate goal of providing services to disaster survivors to get them back on their feet as soon as possible. As of July 21, FEMA has paid out over $1 million in awards to individuals and households in the damaged areas.
The Fairbanks based Cold Climate Housing Research Center is working with Galena residents whose homes were damaged and destroyed by the flood. CCHRC President Jack Hebert is visiting Galena on Wednesday to share home designs based on past village housing projects, and get feedback from Galena.
Fire managers report progress on the Stuart Creek wildfire east of Fairbanks. Nearly 450 firefighters remain on the blaze, which burned an 85,000-acre area south of Chena Hot Springs Road, until suppression work and rain slowed the flames.
Golden Valley Electric Association has forwarded a new gas trucking proposal. The Interior electric coop submitted the proposal to the state at the request of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Friday. AIDEA and the Alaska Energy Authority are shepherding the North Slope to Fairbanks project, and asked GVEA and three other parties interested in partnering with the state for updated proposals last month.
Governor Sean Parnell is reassuring Fairbanks area residents that the state is working toward trucking North Slope gas to the interior, where residents are currently limited to oil and wood for heat. The legislature approved an over $300 million financing package this spring, and a number of companies have expressed interest in participating.
Two Fairbanks area voters plan to file opposition to the latest state redistricting plan. Goldstream Valley resident Ron Dearborn and George Riley of Ester have contested redistricting board proposals in court from the start. Riley says their latest objections primarily focus on the re-alignment of two Fairbanks Senate Districts to make them more geographically and politically aligned.
Work will continue on the Stuart Creek wildfire east of Fairbanks, despite rainy weather.