Anti-bear spray discharge closes Alaska airport

By | September 29, 2008

The airport serving Alaska’s capital city doesn’t have to worry about bears coming around anytime soon.

Juneau International Airport had to be evacuated Friday afternoon because of an accidental discharge of anti-bear spray.

The chemical comes in a canister like pepper spray but is used to defend against attacking bears.

Fire Chief Eric Mohrman says the spray spread through the building via the ventilation system. The terminal had to be cleared and the building aired out. One person was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The airport reopened after about an hour and a half. – ap

Here are some directions for using anti-bear spray:

UDAP says: “If a bear is charging, begin spraying when it gets within 40 feet. It will run into the fog. If a bear is coming at you along with a strong wind, you may wish to wait until it is quite close before spraying.” – happyrobot

A bear’s top speed on the ground is 35 mph. Since there are 5280 feet in a mile, we can surmise that a bear charging at you will cover a distance of 40 feet in about 51 seconds.

Note: A Quarter Horse can run 47 mph and the fastest a human has ever been clocked is 27 mph. The “average top speed of an in shape male human being”, however, “is between 15-18 mph.”

Cost: In 2007 you could get an “8 ounce canister of Counter Assault Bear Deterrent at the REI in Encinitas — $38 plus tax.”

What are the ingredients of anti-bear spray?

Bear Pause is made by ChemArmor of Missoula and carried an EPA registration number (EPA Reg. No.71768-1). At issue is the chemical formula used in the spray. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes hot peppers hot … – highb

And … it may not work. Here are some more anti-bear tips, like playing dead, making noise, talking to it, keeping your dog away from it, and backing away slowly.

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