Smoke Outlook for 7/15 – 7/16: We may see smoky conditions once again if temperatures increase

Whether or not you have received rainfall during the past few days has largely been determined by your location. Portions of Alaska have received strong rainfall while other locations such as the Upper Yukon area remain quite dry with active fire behavior.

Weather has a very strong influence on fire behavior. When a fire is active and burning, it will consume a large amount of acreage, which of course has a direct impact on the amount of smoke visible in our communities.

The Kenai Peninsula and other areas to the south received cooler temps and increased relative humidity, which reduced fire behavior and associated smoke. Warmer temps are expected this week which carries the potential for smoky conditions to once again visit communities that are near to one of the 194 fires burning right now throughout Alaska.

Air Quality table showing forecast levels for smoke levels: Fairbanks, North Pole, and Denali National Park
Air quality table 

North  (Fairbanks and surrounding cities, Denali National Park)  

Fire

Fires that were slowed by rain and cooler temperatures have not yet rebounded, though with warmer temperatures they could pick up again.

Map of Fairbanks and surrounding cities, and includes wildland fires currently burning. Fires include: Dry Creek, Foraker, Wilderness, Shovel Creek, Lloyd Mountain, Beaver, Nugget Creek, Hess Creek, Shovel Creek
Map of Fairbanks and surrounding cities, including Denali National Park with fires currently burning 

Smoke

Needed relief from accumulations of dense smoke was enjoyed through the weekend. New smoke production is expected to be reduced until warmer, drier weather causes fire intensity to increase.

Other

The monitor at Denali National Park is not reporting data. Blue Sky computer modeling indicates good air quality in the park today, with some smoke (moderate conditions) approaching the northern edge of the park tomorrow afternoon.

South (Anchorage, Mat-Su, and the Kenai Peninsula)

Map showing southern cities including Anchorage, Mat-Su valley, and the Kenai Peninsula.
Air Quality for Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, and Mat-Su

Fire

Swan Lake fire is approximately 100,812 acres and is 25% contained. The fire has been smoldering and creeping in the drainages on the eastern flank. The rest of the fire remains fairly inactive. Lower temperatures and increased RH values have reduced fire activity. This trend is expected to continue through mid-week, when fire activity is anticipated to pick up.

Smoke

Southeast winds are expected this afternoon, Cooper Landing and Sterling could see smoke impacts, more so in the evenings and mornings. Increased fire behavior and smoke production are anticipated later in the week with a drying trend in the weather.

Southeast Juneau should not see any smoke impacts today.

Image is an air quality table for cities including Palmer, Butte, Anchorage, Cooper Landing, Sterling, Seward, and Juneau. Right side of table show the air quality forecast for today and tomorrow.
Air Quality table

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