Smoke Outlook 7/25-7/26: continued unhealthy air quality in Fort Yukon

While smoke is beginning to clear in northern Alaska during the day, air quality remains moderate at times in Fairbanks and unhealthy in Fort Yukon due to continuing fire activity. Air quality is good in Anchorage and throughout southern Alaska, although some haze may persist.

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

Fire

Lightning activity has been high in the Upper Yukon Valley, where fire behavior is expected to remain active with relatively warm, dry conditions. Light rain or cloud cover combined with cooler temperatures have moderated fire activity in the East Central Zone. It should be noted that drought conditions are still prevalent, even in the areas that are receiving a little moisture, and flammable vegetation can still dry out quickly.

Map shows 16 fires burning in northern Alaska, unhealthy air quality in Fort Yukon, and moderate air quality in Fairbanks and North Pole.

Smoke

Air quality in Fairbanks and North Pole should be good to moderate today, but smoke from nearby fires will move into this area overnight, producing moderate to “USG” conditions. (“USG” is a designation indicating that “unusually sensitive people” should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.) Good to moderate air quality is expected at Denali NP for most of the day as airflow generally keeps smoke away from the Park. In the Yukon Flats, air quality will be worst this morning, improving throughout the day. Smoke will settle in again and negatively impact air quality overnight in this area. Southeasterly winds will push smoke over northwestern Alaska and over the Brooks Range to the North Slope.

Chart shows moderate air quality in Fairbanks and North Pole for July 24 to July 25, and very unhealthy air quality in Fort Yukon in July 24, improving slightly  from July 25 to July 26.

Individuals sensitive to smoke should moderate or avoid outdoor exertion, depending upon conditions. If you begin to notice health effects from smoke, you should follow the “actions to protect yourself” listed below.

Graphic lists recommended actions to protect yourself from smoke for unusually sensitive individuals, sensitive groups, and everyone.

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

Fire

Map shows Swan Lake Fire location on the Kenai Peninsula, with good air quality throughout southern Alaska.

Swan Lake Fire is approximately 102,229 acres in size with 72% of the planned objectives accomplished. Fire activity is expected to remain calm, however conditions for burning will be better than yesterday.

Smoke

Continued relief form smoke impacts is expected. Haze or moderate air quality possible, but not likely.

Smoke chart showing good air quality at multiple locations throughout southern Alaska: Palmer, Butte, Anchorage, Cooper Landing, Sterling, Seward, Juneau

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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