June 29, 2010 — Firefighter training doesn’t often include initial response on the No. 1 wildfire in the state. But the 39 students at the Interior Wildland Fire Academy in Tok this month were in the right place when lightning ignited the Eagle Trail fire on May 26.

“It’s extreme adrenaline because the smoke’s really thick, you’re working hard, you can’t breathe. It was my first experience on a fire,” said Sean Hummel, a 21-year-old from Fairbanks who graduated from the academy Sunday.

The fire began one week into class, just when the students had achieved qualifications to attack it.


June 29, 1995 — An additional 50 tour-bus passengers in Fairbanks. Valdez and Denali National Park and Preserve came down with a stomach illness Wednesday similar to that experienced by 18 tourists staying at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel the day before the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported.

State epidemiologists have been unable to pinpoint a common source. Without that, they cannot speculate whether the illness — characterized by nausea, diarrhea and vomiting — is stomach flu or food poisoning.

Early reports from medical technicians that all 18 patients Tuesday had eaten lunch the day before at Rika’s Roadhouse were false, said Carol Linkswiler, a program coordinator with DEC. Rika's is a cafeteria-style restaurant in Big Delta State Historical Park, a popular summer tourist stop on the Richardson Highway eight miles north of Delta Junction.


June 29, 1970 — JUNEAU — Keith H. Miller has urged the federal government to impose the maximum penalty allowable on the Japanese stern trawler seized by the Coast Guard off Alaska Saturday.

Miller urged the government to confiscate the ship and all its gear, and to impose the maximum sentence of a $10,000 fine or a year's imprisonment — on the captain.

The vessel, the Akebono Maru 11, was spotted 9.3 miles off the northwest coast of Chichagof Island and was taken to Sitka after being boarded by the Coast Guard.

In Sitka, about two dozen fishermen picketed the Post Office, carrying signs protesting what they considered to be invasion of their fishing territory.

About 500 fishing boats were reported to be in the Sitka harbor, where normally there would be a few on a weekday during the fishing season.


June 29, 1945 — Seattle — An $18,000,000 Army port, secreted in an Alaskan fjord and used only a year, will be dismantled for salvage this summer by 700 German prisoners of war, Col. Conrad P. Hardy, Seattle District Army engineer, announced yesterday.

These will be the first prisoners sent outside continental United States, said Col. Hardy.

The colonel said the project was authorized in July, 1942, by the Western Defense Command to provide a trans-shipment point where barges from the United States could transfer military supplies to ocean going vessels plying to Kodiak and Aleutian Island installations.