Smoke Outlook 7/30-7/31: Warming trend brings more smoke to Interior

Fire activity may increase today in Tanana Valley, driven by several days of warmer, drier weather. Many areas of the state continue to experience drought conditions. Upper Yukon Valley fires remain active, with no wetting rain received in Fort Yukon or Chalkyitzik. Fairbanks and Denali National Park are expected to have good to moderate smoke conditions, while Juneau may receive more haze from Canadian fires.

North (Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Upper Yukon)

Map shows multiple active  fires around Fairbanks, North Pole, and Fort Yukon with moderate air quality.

Fire

Drought conditions persist across the central interior, despite
recent precipitation. With warmer, drier weather expected
over the next few days, fire activity will pick up across much of the state. Fires remain active in the Upper Yukon Valley where little precipitation has been received. Fire activity has picked
up in west central Alaska, including the lower Tanana valley
and also in the southwestern portions of the state.

Smoke

With the increase in fire activity, the Tanana Valley is expected to have a little more smoke than previous days. Areas west of Fairbanks and North Pole may see moderate or even “USG” conditions today, indicating that sensitive individuals should reduce heavy outdoor activity. Fairbanks will see good to moderate conditions today. Air quality is expected to be good in Denali National Park today and tomorrow. With westerly winds, Fort Yukon will see better conditions today, but may see an increase in smoke on Wednesday. Air quality will continue to be poor in the vicinity of the active Chalkyitsik Complex fires.

Chart shows moderate air quality on July 30 in Fairbanks, North Pole, and Fort Yukon, with conditions improving on July 31 for Fairbanks and North Pole, but worsening in Fort Yukon to levels affecting sensitive people.

If you begin to notice health effects from smoke, you are encouraged to follow the “actions to protect yourself” listed below.

Chart with Actions to Protect Yourself from poor air quality, depending upon your sensitivity to smoke.

South (Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Cooper Landing)

Fire

Fire activity is minimal, due to widespread rain over the fire this past week. Swan Lake Fire is approximately 102,229 acres in size with 80% of the planned objectives accomplished. Drought conditions are still high in parts of the Kenai Peninsula and the Mat-Su Valley, and with several days of warm, dry weather, there is the possibility that fire activity could pick up.

Map shows Swan Lake Fire south of Anchorage and good air quality in all surrounding communities.

Smoke

There are no expected smoke impacts in this area from the Swan Lake Fire or from fires to the north.

Copper River and Juneau

Models show that there is a possibility of light haze in northern SE Alaska, including Juneau, from fires in Canada today and as far south as Ketchikan on Wednesday. Overall, air quality should be generally good with occasional moderate in those
areas. Copper River Basin should not be impacted.

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

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