It’s not fog, it’s smoke

Wild fires are nothing new to Alaska. Last year, one fire alone burned 250,000 acres. This year’s fire season is off to an early start thanks to unusually low snowfall over the winter and a warm, dry spring. Fire coordinators report that current fire activity is where it normally is by the end of July. Just yesterday 19 new fires started, mostly by lightning. So far this year according to the Alaska Inter agency Coordination Center, 238 fires have burned 114,906 acres statewide. 80 fires are active.

What does all this mean to Fairbanks? Smoke. Dense smoke. I noticed it a bit Thursday and yesterday, but today was much worse. Smoke rolled in about 1030 this morning and has been pretty thick all day. At times visibility was down to less than a mile. It’s coming from a 55,000 acre fire southwest of us. This fire is burning in the same area as the huge fire last year.

There also a 5,000 acre fire near the Canadian border. This fire is threatening the village of Tanancross and the community of Tok. My friends living near Tok had to evacuate on Thursday. Authorities say they can might be able to return late this evening. Even though it’s not the largest, this is the priority fire in the state due to the closeness to settlements. The Alaska highway has been periodically closed as firefighters work along the roadway.

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2 Responses

  1. It is strange – Alaska appears to be ignored by the media – the weather channel had nothing about the fires, and none of the major cable news websites – yet the newspapers in Anchorage and Fairbanks have all kinds of information. Is this normal – is Alaska pretty much ignored by the mainstream media? The only Alaska news that seems to be reported is Sarah Palin related or the Iditarod(sp).

  2. Yes. Unless it’s something really major, we don’t have large enough population to be worth talking about. We’re amused at the “large” wildfires in the lower 48 that are only a few hundred or perhaps thousand acres that are all over the national news when we have tens of thousands or even hundreds thousands that barely make a blip on the news if at all.

    I gave up on the Weather Channel several years ago. They used to have the Alaska Hawaii report once an hour but got rid of that. Not surprising. They don’t understand our weather patterns. In the winter they said we would be warming up because a high pressure would be causing clear skies. Everyone in Alaska knows in the winter clear skies with high pressure means COLD will last for awhile.

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