Category Archives: public service announcement

Wildfire Prevention Week

Alaska may have only two seasons: Winter and Wildfire

A recent fire started off of Chena Hot Springs Road, outside of Fairbanks

This week is Wildfire Prevention Week in Alaska. We have already seen some burn bans in the Interior, although not around Fairbanks yet. Amazing how quickly the ember turns up here, as we still seem to be slogging through breakup.

Graph Credit: Alaska Division of Forestry

As of Monday, Alaska has had 60 fires start up this fire season within the state. Of those, 55 have been human-caused. Only two fires were determined to be caused by lightning, and there have been three fires where a cause has not been determined, as of this writing.

Lightning strikes, but so far only two confirmed wildfires from lightning

Thunderstorms have returned to the Interior, and we did get almost 40 strikes on Saturday. Also last week, the first coal seam fire of the season was detected down by Healy, which is just north of Denali National Park. The coal seam fire was extinguished by water drop. It is the site of several coal seam fires in recent years.

After going through a long winter, nothing gets Alaskans crankier than a smoke filled summer. Mother Nature does not need help in the area of wildfire ignition, so let’s not add to the burned acreage with laziness and thoughtless behavior.


May the 4th be with You

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Family photo courtesy of Land Rover

*Cries of dismay can be heard from current LR model owners…


Saving Daylight?

Map by Brian Brettschneider

Leave it to @Climatologist49 to map out what all Alaskans are thinking today.

The length of day in Fairbanks for today is 11 hours, 38 minutes. A gain of 6 minutes and 44 seconds from yesterday.


#OptOutside 2020

Proper wildlife distancing, courtesy of National Park Service

With the pandemic encouraging many of us to put off large Thanksgiving gatherings this year, and foregoing the annual insanity of “Black Friday” (an event I honestly have never understood), there remains the opportunity to explore the outdoors.

The current situation is what it is, and we are stuck with it. For the moment, at least. Now, more than ever, why not opt to head outside? Social distancing is a lot easier to accomplish, and it’s good from time to time to remind ourselves that we are still a part of the natural world.

So try to spend some time outside this weekend, but remember to keep your proper wildlife distance.



Vote!

If you live in the U.S., and have not already done so, it’s time to head to the polls.


Happy Halloween


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Fort Richardson National Cemetery; Anchorage, AK


A Pale Blue Dot

Happy Earth Day:

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Earth, caught in a ray of light; Image credit: Voyager 1/NASA

The image was taken by Voyager 1 at the suggestion of Carl Sagan on 14 February 1990.  At the time, Voyager 1 was 4 billion miles away from its home planet.  As the spacecraft was approaching the fringe of our solar system, engineers turned it around for one final glimpse at Earth.

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Artist rendering of Voyager 1; Credit: NASA

‘Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.’

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994 

 


Alaskan Distancing

Saturday’s Lighter Side: 

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Courtesy of the snow bound folks in Valdez, Alaska 

 

I stopped by the grocery store on Friday morning, and was amazed at how many people wanted to encroach into my 6 foot bubble.  I wasn’t even in the TP aisle!  I wondered if people just don’t know what a six foot gap looks like.  Lo & behold, the fine folks in Valdez have had the same thought.

In all honesty, this is the only time of year in Alaska where one sees only 457 mosquitoes in a space of six feet.  Swatting season is just around the corner!

Stay safe & keep your distance.