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The burning of Alaska… or news vs reality

June 22, 2015

Around the world many indigenous cultures have a vastly different terminology for the changing of the seasons. The great majority of them base this terminology on their subsistence survival way of life. For example our spring may be called fish because it is the time of year when fish return to the waterways. Other times may be designated for when bears or moose are at there best for harvesting. Having been in Alaska for now over 20 years I have personally designated this time of year the season of ‘smoke’.

The emotionally stirring vista of the hills and valleys surrounding my cabin are once again obscured by the haze of smoke, and the smell of millions of burning tress. Sometimes I wonder at the irony of a news report that leads with the tale of a major forest fire in California threatening homes. Touted in the report as a ‘massive’ 1,000 acre fire I can only be bemused at the use of the word massive. I wonder what we should then call some of the fires we now have here in Alaska. Just this past weekend 38 new fires have started and that does not include the one that tops out at over 30,000 acres and was fought by over 700 fire fighters.

This yearly dichotomy of news versus reality
only reinforces my belief that
‘news’ is in the eye of the beholder
and at times has no bearing on reality.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2015 1:05 pm

    maybe the media dismisses the news-worthiness of anything that is in a less populated state. or a less liberal state. maybe a little of both. but whatever their logic, the media is not very trustworthy these days. gone are the days of journalistic integrity.


  2. June 22, 2015 1:20 pm

    It’s all relative, Pete! And not having lots of news coverage about Alaska is not altogether a bad thing…


  3. June 22, 2015 1:25 pm

    We don’t hear much of Alaska news unless we want to drill. The U.S. is so big that it’d be hard to hear about every state. Having said that I had no idea there were so many large fires up there!


  4. June 23, 2015 2:13 pm

    I totally agree with you. Everything is perspective and what sells. A lot of people in California watch a lot of tv/cable so their news is what sells.


  5. Jon permalink
    June 23, 2015 4:16 pm

    Just like here when we have a snowstorm. The news stations send out reporters on the highways reporting how horrible things are in a 2″ snowfall.


  6. Tricia permalink
    June 24, 2015 10:28 pm

    Send a message ti Clara and me and let us know you are ok with the fire so close to you.
    Love you


    • June 25, 2015 9:58 pm

      The fires aren’t all that close. At least not that we know of but with the heavy thunder storm that just passed overhead, that may have changed by morning. Agee Fire is closest over by Globe Creek and going up Wickersham on both sides of the road.


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