Climate Program Office News

The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP), a NOAA RISA team, aids in response to a large tundra wildfire threatening Native communities in southwest Alaska

  • 16 June 2022
The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP), a NOAA RISA team, aids in response to a large tundra wildfire threatening Native communities in southwest Alaska

Over the weekend, a historically massive wildfire threatened four Yup'ik villages on the Yukon River in southwestern Alaska. Rick Thoman, a Principal Investigator with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP), a NOAA RISA team, has been working to update people from the Yukon River Delta region about the fire that is threatening their communities.

While the fire started when a bolt of lightning struck the tundra, the conditions that have allowed it to spread so rapidly were created by climate change. Thoman has been communicating with state and national news media about the situation, and reported that the fire threatening St. Mary's and other nearby communities "this is the biggest tundra wildfire the region has ever seen, and the second largest tundra wildfire in Alaska in over 40 years”, and that “the dramatic increase in tundra vegetation and increase in spruce tree size is a big contributing factor". This story highlights how maintaining an ongoing relationship with rural Alaska communities, like ACCAP does, helps people know where to go for important information and climate context when a significant climate event occurs.

Read NPR’s coverage on the story »

Read the Washington Post’s coverage on the story »

Click here to read the Anchorage Daily News’ coverage on this story »

For more information, contact Genie Bey.

Print

x

About the Climate Program Office

The Climate Program Office (CPO) manages competitive research programs in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.  CPO-supported research is conducted in regions across the United States, at national and international scales, and globally.  Learn more...

Subscribe-to-newsletter

«June 2022»
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910

CPO HEADQUARTERS

1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910

ABOUT US

Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.