Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 28, 2015


Now we know what a forest fire looks like in Svalbard   
An usual yellowish haze seen over parts of Svalbard earlier this month apparently was from a large wildfire in Alaska in June that destroyed more than 45 homes, according to the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. Per Erik Hanevoll, manager of the Sverdrup Research Station in Ny-Alesund, asked the observatory for the analysis after spotting the haze drifting in over Kongsfjorden on July 10, which seemed to have a sulphuric taste.

Man who vandalized housing complex faces heavy fine
A man responsible for vandalizing a housing complex at Blåmyra by running amok while spraying a fire extinguisher and leaving feces in a sink has been located and is agreeing to pay the costs incurred during cleanup, according to The Governor of Svalbard. “We received tips that led to that our finding the person,” said Irene Sætermoen, a police chief lieutenant for the governor. “He has been in for questioning, where he acknowledged the facts.” The man, who has 20 to 30 years of ties to Svalbard, did not give an explanation for his behavior, but apparently was intoxicated at the time Sætersmoen said. The cleanup costs exceeded more than 10,000 kroner and he will be fined 6,000 kroner for forcing the fire department to respond to a false alarm. “When someone has literally made a fool out of themselves, as in this case, we forgive the sinner,” Sætersmoen. “I think it’s proper and honest that he will make up for it, even though it is an event we took very seriously.”

Man dies after falling off boat
A Norwegian man in his 40s died after falling off a fishing boat Tuesday afternoon about 50 nautical miles southeast of Hopen, according to the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Center. “Cardiac resuscitation of the man was attempted by the rest of the crew aboard the boat, but it was eventually determined by a doctor at the hospital in Longyearbyen that it had gone on so long it was not possible to save his life,” said Tore Hongset, a rescue leader for the agency. Therefore the rescue operation was called off.”