Smoke Outlook for 7/16 – 7/17: Increased temperatures will increase smoke conditions

Temperatures are forecasted to increase once again in the southern portion of the state including the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, and the Mat-Su valley. An increase in heat translates into lower relative humidity and more fire activity, which of course produces a greater amount of smoke. As a result, Cooper Landing is forecasted to see a return of smoke in the area.

Weather has moderated for much of the Fairbanks area, but dry conditions still prevail in the Upper Yukon Zone which has been the warmest in the state in recent days. Air quality is predicted to be at unhealthy levels as a result of higher levels of fire activity.

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

Image is a map showing cities on the Kenai Peninsula including Sterling, Cooper Landing, and Seward as well as Anchorage, Palmer, and Butte.
Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, Palmer, and Butte air quality levels

Fire

Swan Lake fire is approximately 100,812 acres and is 25% contained. Fire behavior is expected to start to pick up today with increased temperatures and decreased RHs. Firefighting operations will continue at the southeast portion of the fire’s perimeter in Mystery Creek drainage.

Smoke

Smoke production is expected to increase today. With the southeastern portion of the fire being the most active, and general winds switching northwesterly in the afternoon, the community of Cooper Landing is likely to be impacted.

Southeast

Juneau should not see any smoke impacts today. Smoke may be transported towards the southeast at the end of the week

Air quality table showing forecasted levels in Palmer, Butte, Anchorage, Cooper Landing, Sterling, Seward, and Juneau
Air quality table showing forecasted levels in Palmer, Butte, Anchorage, Cooper Landing, Sterling, Seward, and Juneau

North (Fairbanks and surrounding cities, Denali National Park)   

Map with partial list of northern Alaska cities with fires including: Fairbanks, North Pole, and Denali National Parks
Map with partial list of northern Alaska cities with fires including: Fairbanks, North Pole, and Denali National Parks

Fire

Cooler weather and scattered showers have slowed growth of fires near Fairbanks. Other areas such as the Upper Yukon Valley continue to have hot, dry conditions with intense fire activity. To see a summary of activity on a specific fire, go to: https://fire.ak.blm.gov/ then select AICC Situation Report.

Smoke

With less fire activity in the Fairbanks area, air quality has been good to moderate for several days. By this evening the Fairbanks / North Pole area could have some smoke coming in from large fires to the west. In areas with large, active fires such as the Upper Yukon Valley and the Galena District there may be smoke at unhealthy levels. If you begin to notice health effects from smoke, you are encouraged to follow the “actions to protect yourself” listed below.

Other

The monitor at Denali National Park is not reporting data. Blue Sky computer modeling indicates good to moderate air quality in the park today.

Air quality table showing forecasted levels in Fairbanks, North Pole, and Denali National Park.
Air quality table showing forecasted levels in Fairbanks, North Pole, and Denali National Park.

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