The fish was easy to mold on the drying rack because the hot summer sun was not coming through the smoke. The broad white fish is what we were drying. Some did people salmon. Not me. I didn't get a picture but it was a white mold that grew. I have had that happen before during rains but it didn't rain during that time; just cloudy and smokey. We stopped fishing during that time. Weather stayed cool and quiet for the year. Shared during the August 2019 LEO webinar
Comments from LEO Editors:
This observation has been forwarded to the North Slope Borough Office of Wildlife Management.
We have received similar observations in LEO Network in the past related to problems with the preservation of traditional foods because of unusual weather conditions. This has included conditions that were too wet, too warm, too cool, and also problems associated with insects. This is the first time, however, we have received an observation about how smoke conditions have affected food preservation. It is a very interesting observation. We would welcome observations and photos from LEO members on this topic, as it is important for food security and an opportunity to invite ideas and suggestions from people already dealing with these kinds of changes. Some ideas we have heard in the past have included helping the drying process by taking it into homes, using wood smoke (smoking) to help with the drying and to reduce insects, as well as the use of insect screens stretched over drying racks. Another important consideration is how to prevent foodborne illness that could occur if the drying and preservation is not happening properly. Freezing fish can help to kill germs and parasites, as can cooking. LEO Network welcomes the contribution by LEO Network members about their preservation strategies and also recipe ideas that can help us all to adapt to our changing climate and changing condition of food resources. Mike Brubaker
More information on current wildfires in Alaska can be found on the Alaska Wildland Fire Information website.This site is updated with information from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, which houses a high bandwidth map of all current fires in the state. The map is supported by BLM Alaska Fire Service, Alaska Division of Forestry, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. More information can also be found by calling 1-800-356-5511.
As seen in the imagery below, the LEO Satellite Data Tool is one resource to look at where smoke is drifting from nearby fires. Satellite Imagery over Nuiqsut can be found here.