Environmental stories in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Friday, from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 2 p.m., Bethel residents can bring their e-waste to AVCP container vans near Cezary’s Auto Body Shop on Front Street.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Association of Village Council Presidents' Environmental Department has been trying to get ahead of the curve on recycling electronic waste - or e-waste - from Bethel for the past several years. That’s according to Ben Balivet, AVCP’s Environmental Manager.


Crooked Creek Fire Cools Down

Jun 9, 2017

Tundra fires continue burning in more than a dozen locations in Southwestern Alaska, but the fire of greatest concern is the Bell Creek Fire, which is burning in forest and brush close to Crooked Creek. A total of 61 firefighters and two helicopters have been assigned to the blaze, working out of a camp in Red Devil. They have been spreading hose lines to protect homes and other structures on the north edge of the village facing the fire, and also setting up a defensive line and dropping flame retardant.

Bell Creek Fire Nears Crooked Creek

Jun 9, 2017

More tundra fires are reported around Bethel, St. Mary's, and St. Michael's. A fire 22 miles east of Bethel is reported to be out, and firefighters demobilized. The Paiyun Creek Fire, 50 miles southeast of Bethel, has burned an estimated 1,200 acres.

The Allen Fire, 55 miles north of St. Mary's, is reported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to have burned 1,500 acres. A firefighting crew was flown in to the Kogok River Fire south of St. Michael's; the fire is estimated at 632 acres. 

Summer Tundra Fires Scatter Smoke

Jun 8, 2017
Warren Nicolai

The Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge reports that numerous tundra fires are currently burning in the region. Smoke from at least one of them may be visible from Bethel. The Akuliktuak River Fire, 22 miles east of Bethel and five miles east of Kwethluk, is reported to be 90 percent contained. 

All the fires are thought to have been caused by lightning. 

Courtesy of LeMay Engineering and Consulting, Inc.

Relocating the Newtok school is not a simple task. It's going to take many years to do, and during that time students may be living and studying in two different places as Newtok moves to its new location: Mertarvik. The new site is located on higher ground, away from tidal waters eroding the old village.

The Lower Kuskokwim School District has now included the cost of building and moving to a new school in its 6-year plan - the first step to getting the project on the state's capital spending list.

The village of Platinum went four days without power last week due to a series of generator failures. Platinum Mayor Mark Moyle said that their main generator failed over Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 29.


The EarthScope Transportable Array project will provide detailed seismic data from across Alaska.  New earthquake-monitoring site equipment was installed last week near Bethel. Pictured here, EarthScope installs a unit on Tigyukauivet Mountain.
Courtesy of Max Enders / Earth Scope, The IRIS, NSF

Last week, a federal research program installed new earthquake-monitoring equipment around Bethel. The EarthScope Transportable Array project will provide detailed seismic data from across Alaska.



Bethel City Council member Leif Albertson visits the site of a proposed Air Quality Monitoring System behind AC on May 10, 2017. The site lease was agreed upon by City Council at May 23rd's meeting.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The Bethel City Council has unanimously agreed to a lease with state conservation officials for an air quality monitoring site. City Manager Pete Williams introduced the lease for land located just behind AC (Alaska Commercial) on Fourth Avenue.

Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK Public Media

The ONC seed potatoes have arrived and it’s first come, first served at the Bethel tribal building. They’re free and come in three varieties: Yukon Gold, Cal White, and Cherry Red. 

Managing Alaska's Fisheries In Warming Oceans

May 15, 2017
Drying salmon strips

How should we manage Alaska's fisheries in the face of warming oceans? Answers to that question were hard to come by among scientists gathered last week for the Wakefield Symposium in Anchorage. The most solid scientific information came from a bird biologist.