• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 37s

Episode 8: Heartache and Hope from the Wildfire Front Lines

By KTVA Alaska 12:39 PM June 21, 2015

It’s been a week of heartache and hope on the front lines of two wildfires burning in Southcentral Alaska, both of them man-caused. And the summer fire season has only begun.

On this week’s episode of Frontiers, get a firsthand understanding of the magnitude of these two disasters — the Sockeye Fire near Willow in the Susitna Valley and the Card Street Fire on the Kenai Peninsula.

Watch how the Sockeye fire begins with just a few acres in the heart of Alaska’s dog mushing community. See how it raced across parched stands of spruce to claim 26 homes and more than 7,000 acres.

Also on Frontiers, watch personal stories from the front lines – neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers – how mushers like DeeDee Jonrowe lost everything – and how one couple, Justin and Jaimee High, lost the home they had just rebuilt, after their first home was destroyed in a fire this past December.

Our guest this week is Vern Halter, who brings two perspectives, that of a veteran Iditarod musher and a Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman. Though devastating, Halter says early and aggressive action in the Sockeye Fire — and the community’s outpouring of aid – makes it a textbook case on how to respond to a wildfire.

Halter also looks at the lessons learned from the 1996 Miller’s Reach fire, which destroyed more than 300 homes.

And for information about how to help those who lost their homes in the fires, watch our Web Extra interview with Jeremy Zidek, who works with the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Zidek also explains how people can apply for assistance.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Petition circling to stop Mat-Su school district from outsourcing custodial, cafeteria positions

    by Sierra Starks on Mar 27, 21:00

    Faced with a $10 million budget deficit, cuts sometimes have to be made beyond the classroom, says Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) assistant superintendent Luke Fulp. As a “viable option to help reduce ongoing expenses and financial obligations,” the district is looking to outsource its custodian and nutrition service workers. In February, the MSBSD voted 4 to 3 […]

  • News

    Be ready: Expert warns to be prepared before a tsunami strikes

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 20:08

    It’s Tsunami Preparedness Week, a reminder to be ready in case a natural disaster like the 1964 earthquake and tsunamis happens again. Paul Whitmore, the director of the National Tsunami Warning Center, says the week’s events include a test of the tsunami warning system. He said in 1964, most of the victims had no warning of […]

  • Politics

    Lawmaker introduces tax on opioid prescriptions

    by Liz Raines on Mar 27, 19:45

    Last month, Gov. Bill Walker declared Alaska’s opioid epidemic a disaster. Now, a member of the Alaska House is proposing a tax on prescription drugs to help remedy the issue. Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins’ House Bill 196 raises revenue directed toward treatment and rehabilitation programs for opioid abuse. At $.01 per morphine milligram, Kreiss-Tomkins says the goal isn’t […]

  • Politics

    Senate calls for 5% education cut, balks at putting it in budget bill for public critique

    by Liz Raines on Mar 27, 19:45

    Public testimony on the Alaska Senate’s version of the state budget is closed, but Alaskans still haven’t seen cuts made to one of the biggest pieces — education. For weeks, the Republican majority has called for a 5-percent cut to the state’s four largest departments: Health and Social Services, Transportation, the University of Alaska, and […]

  • News

    Father and son look back at 1964 earthquake

    by Melissa Frey on Mar 27, 19:21

    It’s been 53 years since an earthquake changed the landscape of downtown Anchorage. It was recent enough to remember, but long enough ago to learn some important lessons along the way. In the last five decades, the scientific and engineering community has used what it’s learned from the ’64 quake to make buildings stronger and safer. The ground […]

  • Lifestyle

    Bureau of Land Management announces digital Alaska maps for outdoor excursions

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 18:51

    The Bureau of Land Management is making it easier to take maps into the backcountry. The agency launched a series of digital maps that can be downloaded to a smart phone or tablet through the Avenza Maps app. The first eight maps range from the Steese Conservation Area to the Unalakleet National Wild River. “There’s also […]

  • Politics

    Meet the candidates: District 3 – Seat E – West Anchorage

    by Daniella Rivera on Mar 27, 16:31

    KTVA invited every registered candidate running in the upcoming Anchorage municipal election to an on-camera interview at our studios to discuss the following topics: Balancing the budget Public safety Introducing new taxes Addressing homelessness in Anchorage Plans for the future We also asked each candidate to submit a 300-word biography, each of which has been […]

  • News

    Mat-Su school board president says superintendent’s resignation was for personal reasons

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 16:23

    Last updated at 8:45 p.m. on Monday, March 27 The school board held an emergency meeting Monday evening to discuss the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) superintendent’s “pending immediate resignation.” Superintendent Gene Stone’s resignation was not initially announced by the district, but was outlined in a resolution considered at the emergency meeting. Stone’s resignation comes only a […]