Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fire Season is high and the Yukon isn't helping.

I sat last night looking over my little park that I live by and thought to myself, this seems familiar. The weather is dry, not at all like the soggy and cold summer South Central got last year. Why does this seem familiar? Then it hit me, this is going to be a summer that is very dry and we may have a fire like the Big Lake/Miller Reach fire, but closer to Anchorage and further north such as Talkeetna and Trapper creek and possibly Denali area.

Now, if you aren’t from Alaska it was a very serious fire. Unlike California that has those scrub brush bushes; South Central Alaska has insect infected Spruce trees that explode if they are on fire. Willow and Alder doesn’t explode, but based on the time of year that a fire starts, the sap they produce make a great torching effect and burn hot. Also, there are homes that have heating oil for their energy needs to warm water or keep the houses warm. Heating fuel in their containers is a huge hazard when a fire breaks out.

Why does this bother me? For the last few years, Alaska has been in a wetter then usual spell and we haven’t had the fires that we would normally have. That is normal actually as South Central up to Denali, The Panhandle of Alaska and quite a few spots in between are actually rain forest. But the Spruce Bark Beetle goes in cycles just like the weather. I had noticed them more last year as they were migrating out to look for new food sources (trees) and they were all over. But I never really thought anything of them as they do not bite you. But they were very large, so I know their cycle is about to explode again.

There were very few fires last year. The Caribou Fire in Kenai wasn’t huge, just smoky at best. I was fishing at the Russian and you couldn’t escape the smoke, but at least it wasn’t raining that day. There was a small fire up towards Fairbanks, but closer to Delta Junction that I remember. But it wasn’t big enough to worry about as the Rail Road was dealing with Fairbanks and Nenana flooding and the bridges closing.

Why is it I am worried about Wildfires right now, when Eagle and Fort Yukon are pretty much destroyed and Tanana as well as other villages are about to flood or are flooding now. It is a hazard to rebuild to begin with, but under the danger of possible wild land forest fires, this might be bad. These people have gone through enough, I don’t want to see them have to rebuild due to a freak lightening storm or a careless cigarette thrown on brush.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on the weather, not just the water. This is the start of Fire Season in Alaska.

No comments:

Post a Comment