Alaska News

Friday, February 15, 2019

1 dead in Anchorage motor home fire

A fast-moving fire that gutted a motor home early Thursday left one person dead, according to Anchorage firefighters. Anchorage Fire Chief Jodie Hettrick said crews responded to the blaze, at the Midtown RV/Camper Park off Fairbanks Street, just after 3:15 a.m. “When we got on scene it was fully involved,” Hettrick said. “After the fire was extinguished, we identified that there was a victim inside the motor home.” The victim wasn’t being named Thursday pending notification of family, Hettrick said. Investigators were still trying to determine the origin and cause of the fire. A resident in the area reported an explosion during the fire, which Hettrick couldn’t confirm. She did say that recreational vehicles are generally vulnerable if they ignite. “Motor homes, just like trailer houses, they’re fairly fragile when it comes to fire; and unlike a stick-built or concrete-built house, they don’t withstand fire very well at all,” she said. “It’s pretty normal that once a fire starts in those types of structures they go pretty fast.”
KTVA-TV CBS 11 Anchorage

Thursday, February 14, 2019

University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers study how wildfires affect fish habitats

University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists will study links between wildfires and the health of fish habitats in Interior Alaska watersheds. Wildfires are one of the main forms of natural disturbance to Alaska’s boreal forests. Over the past few decades, climate change has increased the frequency, severity and extent of wildfires in Interior Alaska. A research team from the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, led by Jeff Falke, wants to know what this means for the ability of ecosystems to recover from a wildfire. “Here in Interior Alaska, where human impacts are relatively low compared to the rest of the United States, we have a great opportunity to study how natural fire processes impact streams, habitats and fish,” Falke said. In particular, Falke’s team wants to understand how increases in wildfire severity may impact boreal watersheds, which are important habitats for juvenile salmon in Alaska. Wildfires can have positive and negative impacts on ecosystems.
University of Alaska Fairbanks News

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