Alaska Dispatch News


WILLOW -- A wildfire that swallowed homes and prompted a 15-mile-long evacuation order Sunday in and around the Southcentral Alaska community of Willow spent Monday sitting mostly stagnant at about 6,500 acres, though it remained dynamic enough to keep emergency responders on the move.The fire picked up later in the day as erratic winds began whipping it back into action. The Sockeye fire had grown to 8,500 acres as of 9:30 p.m. Monday, according to Vickielee Fenster, a public information officer for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The human cost of the fire also began to emerge, with reports of animals killed in the fast-moving blaze and at least 35 to 45 structures burned. Hundreds of people who fled the fire holed up at shelters north and south of its perimeters, with an estimated 1,700 homes in the evacuation area and thousands of animals displaced by Monday afternoon.Read more: Unpredictable Alaska wildfire keeps firefighters guessing as disaster declared
Alaska Public Media

Pioneering Rough Terrain Unicycling | INDIE ALASKA

INDIE ALASKA is an original video series produced by Alaska Public Media in partnership with PBS Digital Studios. The weekly series captures the diverse and colorful lifestyles of everyday Alaskans at work and at play. Together, these videos present a fresh and authentic look at living in Alaska.In this episode of Indie Alaska, we meet "rough terrain unicycling" pioneer George Peck. Peck began riding unicycles around Seward, Alaska in the 1980s. Eventually moving on to riding the ultimate wheel -- a unicycle with no seat -- on mountains and beaches, which began a family tradition carried on by his children, Kris and Katie Peck.
Tara Young


It's the first salmon run of the season at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage and it's time to get out your rod and land a fish. Here's what you'll need:• Alaska Fish & Game 2015 fishing license with a special king salmon stamp• fishing rod that you don't mind getting muddy• hip or chest waders• boots or shoes that you can get muddy• 30-pound test line• 1-ounce weight• slider • barrel swivel• cheater rig• netting• salmon eggs• fillet knife• paper towels• fishing bat• net• sliding bobber• split shot weightFirst, slide the weight onto the line. Put the line through the end of the barrel swivel, giving yourself about two inches of line to work with to tie a knot. Using a fisherman's knot, turn the line over six times and then finish with an overhand knot. Cut off the extra line. Roll a small ball of salmon eggs and add to a piece of netting to create a pouch for the bait. Place the pouch in the loop at the end of the cheater rig and pull tight. Now you're ready to cast.For the first method called bottom fishing or soaking bait, cast not far from the shore, let the lure touch bottom and make sure the line is tight. Now wait and pay attention. The second method is called floating bait or bobber fishing. In this method, you cast the lure and let it float with the current. Then, in synchronicity with your neighbors, you pull the line and recast it,  letting it float with the current. Repeat over and over.Befriend your neighbors; you're going to need a hand netting that king once you've landed it. When you see a tug on your line, make sure your neighbors know that you have a fish on the line by saying "fish" or fish on" so they move their lines out of your way. Hopefully your neighbor fishermen will grapple with the very slippery glacial mud found in Ship Creek to help you net your fish. Once the hook is removed, use your bat to give the fish two strong bonks on the head. Then take your knife to cut under the gills to bleed the fish.Once you've landed your one fish per day limit, you must record the date, the species of fish and the water it was caught in on the back of your fishing license. If you plan to continue catch and release fishing, you cannot remove another catch from the water. You must remove the hook while the fish is still in the net in the water. Ready to get cooking? Here's how to fillet your catch.Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Alaska Dispatch News


Lt. Col. Clayton Percle -- one of the few people to ever fly more than 1,000 hours in the F-22 Raptor -- handed over command of his unit as he prepared for his next assignment. But Percle has only been with the unit a few years. Another member, the unit's honorary vice-commander, has been around the planes and pilots at JBER much longer -- almost his entire life.Meet Fado, a purebred English bulldog.Read more: JBER squadron bids farewell to longest-serving member -- Fado the bulldog
Bill Roth


A team of military searchers, anthropologists and mountaineers is once again trying to turn back the clock on the crash of a C-124 Globemaster cargo plane that slammed into a mountainside above Southcentral Alaska's Colony Glacier in 1952.Everyone aboard the aircraft died in the crash. Most were on their way to duty stations across the state, in the midst of the Cold War. But the glacier that swallowed the wreckage in the wake of the crash has recently been giving up its grim possessions.The wreckage, first spotted six days after the plane went down on Nov. 22, 1952, was quickly hidden by the shifting glacier, located about 50 miles east of Anchorage. At the time, military officials deemed the area too dangerous for any recovery efforts. Decades went by, and 60 years later, in 2012, an Alaska Army National Guard helicopter pilot spotted the debris, brought to the surface by the glacier's constant movement.Read more: Searchers return to Alaska glacier to recover remains buried for decades in ice
Alaska Dispatch News


A crew from Air Station Sitka rescued four men from a life raft early Wednesday after their fishing vessel began sinking near Lituya Bay in Southeast Alaska, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard received a mayday call from the captain of the Petersburg-based vessel Kupreanof  around 3:40 a.m. He said the 73-foot vessel was taking on water in the Gulf of Alaska. The Coast Guard aircrew arrived at 5:21 a.m., said Petty Officer 3rd Class Meredith Manning. Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Alaska Dispatch News
While filming a snowboarding movie in Kamchatka, Russia with riders JP Solberg, Terje Haakonsen and David Carrier Porcheron aka DCP, the Russian Heli Project  crew captured quite a sight. After DCP set off an avalanche, a frenzied hare jumped into and out of the slide. The hare ran like the wind, and though the video cuts short, appears to have escaped a snowy fate.To submit your video to Alaska Dispatch News contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Tara Young


Patrick Hoogerhyde, chef and owner of Bridge Seafood on Ship Creek in Anchorage, knows how to fillet a fish. Growing up in the appropriately-named Southwest Alaska community of King Salmon, Hoogerhyde learned how to perfect his filleting technique.Here's what you'll need need to fillet a sockeye salmon: One day-old, iced sockeye (also known as red) salmon, a flexible fillet knife, cutting board or surface, and forceps or pliers.Then, follow these steps:• Remove the head by slicing along the collarbone• Slice the bottom of the body from the back to the front and then remove the guts.• Using the backbone as a guide for cutting your fillet, cut from the collarbone to the tail, through the pin bones.• Slowly slice from the belly to the collar bone to remove the belly and pins bones. Angle the knife toward the bone to remove as little meat as possible.• Cut off the belly, remove the fin and skin and slice into small pieces and set aside.• Remove the remaining pin bones using modified forceps or pliers. It's best to have the fish sit for a day on ice, to allow for easy removal of the pin bones.• Slice into section that will fit your grill.You'll want to save the belly because, according to Hoogerhyde, "The bellies are tender and have the most fat content. It’s great for a pasta dish or a stir fry -- it’s really nice and rich but great, great flavor.”To learn how to grill a sockeye salmon fillet, watch part two of this series with Bridge Seafood chef Patrick Hoogerhyde.Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Tara Young


Salmon season has begun and it's time to fire up the grill. Chef Patrick Hoogerhyde of Bridge Seafood in Anchorage is going to show us how to properly grill a sockeye salmon.What you need: grill, charcoal, salmon fillet, cracked black pepper, kosher salt and canola or olive oil.Then, follow these steps:• Fire up the charcoal and heat grill to approximately 100 degrees.• Lightly grease grill with a cloth application of canola or olive oil.• Season salmon fillet with cracked black pepper and kosher salt.• Place fillet on the grill skin-side up to retain moisture.• The fillet should cook four minutes on each side for every inch of thickness. After two minutes of cooking skin-side up, move fillet diagonally to create grill marks for presentation.• Ease the spatula around the edges of the fillet once it's ready to be flipped. The fillet should be easy to flip if the grill is hot and the fish is cooked enough.• Cook for another four minutes per inch of thickness, to medium-rare, which Hoogerhyde says is "Alaska style."To learn how to fillet a sockeye salmon, watch part one of this series with Bridge Seafood chef Patrick Hoogerhyde.Watch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Alaska Dispatch News

Time Lapse, Home Alaska

Filmmaker Charles Baird shot this time lapse of Homer on May 24, 2015, from the home of a friend at the end of East End Road. “This is one of my favorite locations in Homer. With a sweeping view out over the sea, it’s always relaxing to watch the ships pass by as moose wonder through the yard. Looking at things from a different perspective (speed/location) reminds me to look at life with the same approach,” Baird says.To submit your video to Alaska Dispatch News contact Tara Young at tara(at)
Mike Campbell
When the calendar flips to May, many Alaskans’ thoughts turn to fishing, hiking, boating and camping. Or, for the terminally dull, spring cleaning.But Adam Holzer and five of his Anchorage mates in the loose organization called DOOM/love figured it was too early to give up on snowboarding, so they headed to Whittier on a sunny Sunday in May.One result is a gorgeous two-minute video, as the sun-dappled Passage Canal looms in the background and a half-dozen boarders jump and carve turns down a short course built with their shovels, their sweat, their vision.   “It’s one of our destinations of choice,” Holzer said of Whittier.  “We do fish out there in the summertime and navigate the waters.  There are limitless ideas.”Read more: Forget spring, there's still some awesome boarding near Whittier
Mike Campbell


Bearing the names of more than 350 fallen veterans inscribed on U.S. flags they carried, a team of military veteran climbers was forced to turn around short of the 20,320-foot summit of Mount McKinley on Thursday.“Unforeseen circumstances are inevitable and insurmountable at times, and with one of our teammates becoming extremely ill, our last chance effort to gain the summit was foiled by weather,” Navy SEAL Josh Jespersen said in a video posted on Facebook.Read more: McKinley climbers honoring fallen veterans forced to turn backWatch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)