By Tim Bradner

Firefighters keep Tyonek blaze away from oil and gas facilities

Firefighters have kept the wind-driven Tyonek fire on Cook Inlet’s west side away from the Beluga gas field and Chugach Electric Association’s Beluga power plant so far.

The fire reached within two to three miles of gas and power facilities but as of Thursday afternoon, a firebreak built by firefighters appeared to be holding, according to Lori Nelson, spokeswoman for Hilcorp Energy, one of the owners of the Beluga field.

A firebreak is a strip of area cleared in front of the fire to halt the advance.

Alaska’s mariculture industry small, but growing; state’s oysters command top-of-the-line price

A small mariculture industry for Alaska — oyster farming for the most part — has been developing in fits and starts for years, and a small group of dedicated seafood entrepreneurs are working away at it, convinced the business can succeed. 

Consumer demand in Alaska and the Lower 48 is steadily increasing among people who see oysters as healthy food, and who are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes.

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