Smoke Outlook 7/24-7/25: Rain moving northward is helping disperse smoke

Mao showing locations of multiple wildfires in north Alaska and impacted air quality in Fort Yukon, Fairbanks, and North Pole.

Widespread rain in southern Alaska brought relief from smoky conditions and is moving northward. With the rainfall, the smoke is dispersing to the north, but smoke will settle in again overnight across northern Alaska. By tomorrow, smoke in the north is expected to cross the Brooks Range onto the North Slope. Conditions remain dry and fires active in northern Alaska.

North (Fairbanks, Upper Yukon Valley, Denali National Park)

Fire

While some moisture is expected to begin moving in from the south, fuels are extremely dry and fire behavior will still be active. In the Upper Yukon Valley it is expected to remain very active with continued high temperatures and extremely dry conditions. Fire activity in the East Central Zone has moderated somewhat, but again, fuels remain very dry.

Chart shows air quality conditions forecast for July 23 to July 25 in Fairbanks and North Pole (moderate to good) and Fort Yukon (unhealthy to very unhealthy).

Smoke

Smoke pooling in areas this morning across the zone from the Yukon Flats southwest, around Fairbanks and North Pole in the Tanana Valley, and at Denali National Park. Smoke will shift away from the Park to the north throughout the day, improving air quality there. Conditions will generally be moderate in Fairbanks and North Pole as the smoke becomes more widely dispersed. Winds help disperse smoke during the day in the Yukon Valley, but it will remain in USG to very unhealthy there. Smoke settles in again across the zone overnight. Conditions look better for tomorrow. A significant amount of smoke is expected to drift north over the Brooks Range overnight, negatively affecting air quality on the North Slope. If you begin to notice health effects from smoke, you are encouraged to follow the “actions to protect yourself” listed below.

South (Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Copper River, Juneau)

Map shows Swan Lake Fire  and good air quality for Anchorage, Palmer, Butte, Sterling, Cooper Landing, and Seward for July 24.

Fire

Swan Lake Fire is approximately 102,229 acres in size with 72% of the planned objectives accomplished. The fire saw widespread showers dropping 0.25-0.5 inches of rain throughout the area, drastically diminishing fire activity.

Smoke

All adjacent communities experienced relief from moderate air quality with the precipitation across the area. Copper River and Juneau No smoke impact is expected in the Copper River Area, or Juneau.

Other

A listing of activity for specific fires is available at: https://fire.ak.blm.gov/ then AICC Situation Report.

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