College Rotary
Fairbanks, Alaska

Seen and heard at College Rotary September 9, 2013

 

Our program today, BLM Alaska Fire Service, was presented by Kent Slaughter, Director of BLM.  Kent shared fire management options for wildfires, and an overview of the 2013 Alaskan wildfire season.

 

Today’s meeting was led by President, Patty Meritt, who was assisted by the Red Team members.

 

At the desk were Carol Callahan and Mike Dunton.   Cheryl Keepers greeted and Mike Dunton sold 50/50 tickets.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Barb Hompesch, and Cynthia Steiner stepped in at a moment’s notice and led the Club in song with the “Alaska Flag Song”.   The arrival of our original song leader, Cindy Wentworth, was delayed because of her kind generosity; Cindy stopped on the way to our club meeting and assisted fellow club member, Kerynn Fisher, with a flat tire.  These tough Alaskan women really know how to handle a tire iron and lug nuts!

 

Our guests were introduced and included Debra Dussman, wife of club member Dennis Dussman, and our exchange student, Maria Petersen, from Denmark. 

 

Announcements:

 

Exchange student, Maria Petersen, cheerfully shared details of her first few fun-filled weeks in Fairbanks.  Maria is enjoying school, has attended a dance class, and joined a swim team.  Her first swim meet was last weekend, and she swims the 100 meter breaststroke.

 

Patty Meritt reminded us the September 16th club meeting program will be “Fun &  Games”, and will include a social time, club business, and a youth exchange presentation.  

 

Happy Bucks:

 

Gila (and Dieter) Dolif sent a picture and $5 in happy bucks in celebration of their newest grandson.  Gila and Dieter miss their fellow College Rotarians.  Greetings can be sent to the Dolif’s via their email address, dolifs@amli-noma.com 

 

Karen Parr was happy about her great grandchild born this past week.

 

Kerynn Fisher was very happy Cindy Wentworth bailed her out with her flat tire.  Kerynn also has Yukon Quest raffle tickets for sale.  Tickets are $100 each, and the grand prize is $10,000.

 

Cheryl Keepers was happy about the Alyeska Best Beginnings Family Health Fair scheduled for Saturday, September 14th, 11:00am – 3pm at the Pioneer Park Civic Center.  Flyers were distributed on all tables, and Cheryl encouraged everyone to take one with them.

 

Vera was happy to be back yesterday from a one week vacation.  She was also happy her granddaughter is doing well, following a recent surgery.

 

John Tiemessen was happy about the recent Eagles concert he attended in Vancouver.  John was also happy about his red/pink shirt.

 

Club President, Patty Merritt, was happy everyone was here today, and also for all of our very interesting weekly Club programs.

 

Club Awards:

 

Patty purchased pins at her PETS training for the purpose of acknowledging the College Rotarian of the Month who has done exceptional work for the club.  Patty recognized Carol Callahan as the July College Rotarian of the Month.  Carol spends many hours each month on secretarial, membership, bookkeeping, and other administrative Club duties, and she greets each of us with her smiley face each week as the front desk attendant at our club meetings! Patty also recognized Past President, Ron Bergh, as the August College Rotarian of the Month.  Aside from serving as president last year, Ron has spent many hours wrapping up College Rotary grants and various paperwork, and he has taken charge of the completion of the BBQ pit at the Georgeson Botanical Gardens picnic pavilion.

 

Our program today, BLM Alaska Fire Service, was presented by Kent Slaughter, Director of BLM.

 

Kent shared fire management options for wildfires, and an overview of the 2013 Alaskan wildfire season.  The diverse land ownership patterns in Alaska have allowed fire management to develop a little different in Alaska.   Kent categorized fire management options into the following categories:

 

·        Critical - highest priority for suppression options due to threats to human life, primary residences, 

         and national historic landmarks

·        Full – high priority, but below critical

·        Modified – intended to balance acres burned with suppression costs - to accommodate land and

         resource management objectives when conditions are favorable

·        Limited – lowest priority – objective is to let fires run their course with some management. 

 

Most fires in Alaska are categorized and managed as “Limited”, and the majority are human caused.  The 2013 Alaskan wildfire season started slow due to the late thaw, and consisted of 601 fires burning 1.3 million acres.  At the peak of the season, there were 2,000 fire fighters out on wildfires this year.

 

BLM plans for wildfires year-round via interagency cooperation and planning meetings with other entities and land managers.  BLM is the lead agency for Interior Alaska (overseeing 194M acres), the Department of Natural Resources is the lead for the State (150M acres), and the Forest Service is the lead agency for forest service lands (26M acres).  The Interagency Coordination Center is based at Fort Wainwright and is one of eleven geographic area coordinating centers.  This center is the primary logistical support center in Alaska, mobilizing resources including aircraft, personnel, equipment, and crews to fight wildfires.

 

Fire scenarios management consists of 8 phases: fire notification, surveillance and monitoring, initial attach, extended attach, project fire, mop up, rehabilitation and demobilization.  Kent walked through these fire management processes for the Beaver Log lakes and Skinny’s Road fires. 

 

Kent invited club members to visit the following websites for additional Alaska wildfire information:

http://fire.ak.blm.gov/  

www.facebook.com BLM Alaska Fire Service

https://twitter.com/BLM.AFS

 

The 50/50 pot of $44 was won by Ron Bergh.

 

Larry Baker closed out the meeting with a “Leave ‘em Laughing” joke:  A computer programmer’s wife asks her husband, “Could you go to the store and buy a carton of milk, and if they have eggs, get six.”  A short time later the husband comes home with 6 cartons of milk.  The wife asks him, “Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?”  He replied, “They had eggs.”

 

 

The program for the Club’s September 16, 2013, will be “Fun and Games”, led by Club President, Patty Merritt.

 

The meeting was adjourned by Patty Meritt.