The plant disease responsible for the Irish potato famine has sprung up in Alaska.
Late Blight, a fungus that attacks both potato and tomato plants, is common in the Lower 48 and was recently discovered at two Alaska farms - one in the Mat-Su Valley and another near Delta Junction.
Blight kills plants quickly, and can rot potatos even in storage.
It's also extremely contagious, which is why the affected farmers are working with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to eradicate the fungus.
While Alaska winters kill the disease in most plants, UAF officials said they're not taking any chances.
"Fortunately, it's been well dealt with," said Steven Brown, district agriculture agent with UAF. "Our concern is making sure that any of the late blight didn't escape into gardeners' home gardens and become the source of future contamination."
In order to avoid the blight next year, botanists recommend planting only Alaska certified seeds and seed potatoes.