Smoke covers much of the Middle Tanana Valley

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 9:53 AM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With wildfires also comes smoke.

Much of the interior has seen it and now we are in it. Ryan Metzger, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service explains much of what we see and smell as well as how it happened.

“What contributed to the increase of fire activity over the weekend; we had hot and dry conditions across much of the interior and we also had some chinook winds that developed in the Alaska Range,” said, Metzger.

Just like our winter inversions, this smoke is here to stay until a big wind event can push the smoke out. “Here we had the winds kick up over the weekend and so that helped push smoke into the Fairbanks area and then over night we had what’s called an inversion which is where the temperature rises as you go up in the atmosphere and so that can trap the smoke at lower altitudes and concentrates it,” said, Metzger.

With all of this smoke, make sure to take it easy outside and drive safe. On Monday, August 7, the air quality index for Fairbanks was over 180, and in North Pole the AQI was just under 170. This puts both areas in the unhealthy range and people with sensitive lungs or trouble breathing should avoid outdoor activities.

For more information on air quality in the Middle Tanana Valley visit the National Weather Service Fairbanks website.