Smoke Outlook: 7/28-7/29: Expect haze in Denali National Park, Mat-Su and Susitna Valleys

Map shows multiple active fires in northern Alaska, producing unhealthy air quality in Fort Yukon.

While fire activity remains minimal due to rains and higher relative humidity across the state, lightning from widespread thunderstorms could result in new fires in the Upper Yukon Valley due to drought conditions that persist there. Overnight haze will occur in areas around active fires, including Fairbanks. This afternoon and Monday, Denali National Park and the Mat-Su and Susitna Valleys may also see some smoke or light haze move over the Alaska Range from fires to the north. `

Chart shows good air quality in Fairbanks and North Pole for 7/27 and 7/28, changing to moderate on 7/29. It also shows unhealthy air quality, which could worsen to affect sensitive groups, from 7/27 to 7/29.

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

Fire

The Upper Yukon Valley continues to remain generally warm and dry, with the fire remaining active there. Elsewhere in the zone, increased relative humidity and cooler temperatures have minimized fire activity, aided by scattered rains. However, drought conditions persist and there is still potential for fire activity to pick up with just a few warm, dry days.

Smoke

Light precipitation received in the Tanana Valley has continued to minimize smoke production on area fires, improving air quality in Fairbanks and North Pole today. A northerly wind may bring some haze from more active northern fires in overnight. Northwest winds may also bring some smoke back into Denali Park this afternoon. Very light winds in the Yukon Flats will limit dispersion of smoke, creating very unhealthy to hazardous conditions in the vicinity of the Chalkyitsik Complex fires. Models show Fort Yukon continuing to be impacted by smoke, and with the light and variable winds, there will still be periods of USG or Unhealthy air quality, especially overnight. 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 southwest of Anchorage, with good air quality in all surrounding communities on the Kenai Peninsula and north of Anchorage.

Fire

Swan Lake Fire is approximately 102,229 acres in size with 79% of the planned objectives accomplished. Fire activity is minimal, due to widespread rain over the fire for the past 5 days.

Smoke

Continued relief from smoke impacts from the Swan Lake Fire is expected, with only a few small areas of smoldering remaining within the fire perimeter. Copper River and Juneau No smoke impact is expected in Juneau. The Copper River Basin may have some light haze from fires to the north on Monday.

Other

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

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