Smoke Outlook 7/31-8/01: Winds will improve air quality throughout most of Alaska

Though drought persists in the central Interior and warmer, drier weather may cause an increase in fire activity today, winds and recent precipitation trends have resulted in generally better air quality for the Fairbanks, Anchorage and Southeast Alaska regions.

North (Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Upper Yukon)

Map shows multiple active fires and shows that air quality is good  in Fairbanks and North Pole, but poor in Fort Yukon.


Drought conditions persist across the central interior, despite recent precipitation. With another day of warm, dry weather expected in this part of the state, fire activity could pick up across the zone. Fires remain active in the Upper Yukon Valley where little precipitation has been received. Fire activity has also picked up in west central Alaska, including the lower Tanana Valley and also in the southwestern part of the state.


A primarily southwesterly wind flow will keep air quality good in Fairbanks and North Pole today, along with Denali National Park. A shift to more westerly winds overnight is expected to bring smoke into these areas tomorrow, reducing air quality for Thursday. Areas west of Fairbanks and North Pole may see moderate or worse conditions today; sensitive individuals may need to reduce heavy outdoor exertion.

While winds will help move smoke from local fires away from Fort Yukon and Chalkyitsik in the Upper Yukon, it will also bring smoke from southwestern fires into this area, creating a mix of air quality conditions from moderate to unhealthy, and possibly very unhealthy for short periods of time, especially overnight. The shift to more westerly winds will improve
conditions for tomorrow. Smoke will be carried over the Brooks Range to the eastern half of the North Slope today.

Chart shows air quality from Tuesday, July 30 to Thurs August 1 in Fairbanks, North Pole, and Fort Yukon. Air quality is good in all locations on Tuesday, becomes unhealthy for sensitive groups in Fort Yukon on Wednesday, and becomes moderate in all locations on Thursday.
Chart with Actions to Protect Yourself from poor air quality, depending upon your sensitivity to smoke.

South (Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Cooper Landing)


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

Map shows good air quality in communities of Sterling, Cooper Landing, Anchorage, Butte, and Palmer surrounding the active Swan Lake Fire.


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 areas of light smoke will continue across SE
Alaska, including Juneau and Ketchikan from fires in Canada
today and Thursday. Overall, air quality should be generally
good with occasional moderate in those areas. Copper River
Basin should not be impacted.

A listing of activity for specific fires is available at:
then AICC Situation Report.

Categories: AK Fire Info

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