Smoke Outlook 8/1-2: Generally improving conditions statewide, but Yukon Valley remains smoky

An increase in precipitation across west central Alaska and the Tanana Valley will reduce smoke impacts in many areas; however, the Upper Yukon Valley continues to be relatively dry, and westerly winds will bring in smoke from other areas. Smoke from Canadian fires continues to impact parts of Southeast Alaska.

North (Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Upper Yukon)

Map shows multiple active fires in central Alaska; Fairbanks and North Pole forecast to have good air quality, while Fort Yukon is forecast to have moderate air quality.

Fire

Drought conditions persist across the Central Interior, despite recent precipitation. Rain is moving across the Tanana Valley today, but only very light rain has fallen over the upper Yukon once again. With the rains, anticipate that the fires over west central Alaska will be less active, thus will put out much less smoke today. Fires should remain active in the Upper Yukon Valley where little precipitation has been received.

Smoke

Expect air quality to be good in Fairbanks and North Pole today, along with Denali National Park. Depending on how active the fires in the lower Tanana Valley and west central Alaska are, Fairbanks and North Pole could see moderate air quality on Friday with a more westerly wind.

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 fires to their west, creating a mix of air quality conditions from good to moderate, and possibly unhealthy for short periods of time, especially overnight.

Good air quality expected today for Fairbanks and North Pole; good to moderate conditions expected in Fort Yukon.
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 in the Swan Lake Fire area, due to precipitation received 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 continued warm, dry weather, 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 and Tokaina 2 fires.

Smoke

There are no expected smoke impacts in the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su Valley areas from the Swan Lake Fire or from fires to the north.

Copper River and Juneau

Models show that areas of light smoke from fires in Canada will continue across SE Alaska, from Juneau to Ketchikan, for the next couple of days. Overall, air quality should be good with occasional periods of moderate conditions across Southeast. Copper River Basin and Prince William Sound, including Cordova may also be impacted by smoke today, as activity has picked up slightly on the Tokaina 2 Fire.

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

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