Posted: Friday, March 09, 2001

Avalanche danger still present

JUNEAU - There is a high danger of travelers triggering backcountry avalanches in the Juneau area, says Bill Glude of the Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center.

If present conditions continue, Glude added, "we may even get some natural releases on lower slopes."

There have been five human-triggered avalanches in Juneau in the last week, Glude said this morning.

First were two avalanches March 1 below Hogsback Ridge, near Eaglecrest Ski Area, one of which buried helicopter skiing guide Adam Roy of Colorado. Roy, who was wearing a beeper, was quickly rescued by another skier.

A skier triggered an avalanche March 3 in the backcountry near Eaglecrest, in Heavenly Valley. "It came down behind him so he was safely out of it," Glude said.

A snowmachiner triggered an avalanche Sunday on Mount Troy on Douglas Island. "No one was hurt, but it was another close call," Glude said.

Thursday, there was a fifth avalanche, "another close call in Heavenly Valley," Glude said. "So backcountry continues to be dangerous. The ski area is fine, but there is a persistent, deep instability (in the snowpack). We are getting more and more snow loading onto it, and depending on what weather we get in the next few days, things could get worse."

EPA to fine two Ketchikan processors

ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a total of $132,000 in fines against two seafood processing companies accused of improperly discharging fish waste from plants in Ketchikan.

The EPA has proposed $77,000 in fines against Wards Cove Packing Co. and $55,000 against NorQuest Seafoods Inc. Both companies are based in Seattle.

Accusations against Wards Cove include failing to route all seafood waste through a waste-handling system, discharging seafood waste exceeding a half-inch in size and discharging foam and scum in violation of Alaska water quality standards.

NorQuest was accused of failing to route all seafood waste through a waste-handling system, failing to properly operate and maintain all compliance systems, and improperly discharging foam and scum.

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