Interior Alaska communities may see smoke from multiple fires

Modeling from the UAFSMOKE Wildfire Smoke Prediction for Alaska website shows how smoke from multiple fires will drift east through central Alaska on Saturday, June 9, 2018. This screenshot shows the prediction for the smoke location at 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information go to http://smoke.arsc.edu/forecast.html

Modeling from the UAFSMOKE Wildfire Smoke Prediction for Alaska website shows how smoke from multiple fires will drift east through central Alaska on Saturday, June 9, 2018. This screenshot shows the prediction for the smoke location at 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information go to http://smoke.arsc.edu/forecast.html

Interior communities may see smoke drifting from multiple fires across Central Alaska Saturday afternoon. People in Fairbanks may have noticed a haze Saturday morning. The air quality may worsen in the afternoon as fire activity typically picks up.  Wildfire smoke modeling shows the smoke wafting across central Interior Alaska Saturday, but shifting south as a cold front moves in from the Arctic on Sunday.

The smoke is coming from several large and very large fires as far west as the Kobuk Valley. They include:

• The 2,400-acre Little Melozitna River Fire (#171); the 7,000-acre Dulby Hot Springs Fire (174); and the Deniktaw Ridge Fire (#117) and the Hot Springs Fire (#156), which merged to burn 7,000 acres so far. This merged fire is the only one of this bunch staffed and is now being called the Deniktaw Ridge Fire. The North Star Fire Crew and eight smokejumpers are setting up protection measures on values in the area, including a cabin four miles to the west of the fire.

• The 3,200-acre Kololitna River Fire (#173) burning 50 miles north of Tanana; the 2,500-acre Mooseheart Fire (#204) and the 1,000-acre Zitziana River Fire (#133) burning west of Nenena. Both fires are burning in limited protection area and are being monitored.

• The 650-acre Bismark Fire (#165) burning near Ambler; the700-acre Rabbit River Fire (#205) burning in the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge; and the 300-acre Purcell Fire (#197) burning 28 miles to the southeast.

If aggravated by the smoke, stay indoors with the windows shut. Other tips include finding an air-conditioned building, such as a library, to spend the afternoons when the concentration of smoke may be the highest. You may also want to limit physical activities.

More information can be found at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center’s air quality page at https://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/airquality.php

About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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