wildfires

Courtesy of USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Tule geese migrate from Cook Inlet down to California every year. They can be spotted by birders on the central peninsula in the spring, as they cross over the Gulf of Alaska on their long journey back north.

There’s not much margin for error during those journeys. But last year, geese took twice as long to get to California, as they came up against some of the largest wildfires in Canada and the Lower 48 to date.

Courtesy of Arctic Fox Adventures

The skies over Southcentral Alaska are hazy with smoke. But it’s not from any nearby fires. 

The haze is blowing east from wildfires in Siberia, amid one of the worst wildfire seasons Russia has ever experienced.

“The whole northern hemisphere is burning right now. But the wildfires in Siberia are particularly bad this year," said Mike Lawson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Besides the urban centers in Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Seward, most people on the Kenai Peninsula live pretty close to areas that could be vulnerable to wildfire. The borough is looking to update a plan on how to help reduce risk and deal with fire when it breaks out.Next week, the borough administration will be hosting open houses and informational meetings across the peninsula to get feedback on the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, or CWPP.

There’s a mosaic of land managers on the Kenai Peninsula. But all share at least one common goal: mitigate damage from wildfires.

That was front of mind for Jeff Bouschor this last week. He’s the fire management officer for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, which recently reached 100 percent containment on the lightning-caused Loon Lake Fire.

Courtesy of Division of Forestry

The Loon Lake Fire outside Sterling is now mostly contained and there hasn’t been a flare up there in several days.

That’s according to public information officer Kale Casey. He says crews have finished putting a fireline and hose line around the fire.

“We’re not actually fighting fire. We are at 70 percent containment," Casey said. "And we have 62 people. We still have 102 acres.”