Smoke may cause unhealthy air quality in Southcentral and Interior Alaska, DEC says

A haze falls over mountains in Anchorage.
Smoke from fires in the Yukon blankets the Chugach in smoke, as seem from downtown Anchorage on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (Julia O’Malley / Alaska Public Media)

Parts of Interior and Southcentral Alaska will see poor air quality as a result of wildfires this week, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation warned on Tuesday.

Wildfires are currently burning just across the Canadian border in the southern Yukon. A DEC advisory says wind patterns are expected to trap the smoke over Anchorage, Wasilla, Palmer Tok, Northway and the Copper River Valley. The advisory is in effect from Tuesday morning to Thursday morning, when winds are expected to change. 

DEC says air quality may degrade to unhealthy levels over the next few days in some areas. In smoke-impacted areas, DEC advises “people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion.”

Residents can check the National Weather Service air quality forecast to stay up to date or have a look at DEC’s air quality index here.

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Kavitha George is Alaska Public Media’s climate change reporter. Reach her at Read more about Kavithahere.

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