Smoke from Alaska wildfires reaches Southeast

Mountains in the distance blurred out by smoke
Haze partially obscures the view in Wrangell on June 15, 2022. (Photo by Sage Smiley/KSTK)

Communities across Southeast Alaska woke up to hazy skies on Wednesday.

“It is actually the wildfire smoke from all those big fires over in southwest Alaska,” says meteorologist Edward Liske with the National Weather Service in Juneau. “The Anchorage area and the Fairbanks area have been dealing with that smoke for the last several days, and it’s finally getting blown over into our area of the woods.”

Liske says how long the haze sticks around depends on how long the wildfires continue to burn and whether wind blows the smoke down south. But, he says, it’s a high possibility the haze will be around for at least a little while.

“There is a large part of Alaska right now that’s currently under the area of smoke that’s being generated by those fires,” Liske says, “So there’s a pretty good pool of smoke to draw from. We’ll probably be dealing with it for the next few days because we’ve got some northwesterly wind coming in, so it’s just blowing in from the direction where all that smoke is pooling right now.”

Liske says the smoke isn’t of a high enough concentration to pose a health risk. And aside from the haze, sunny weather is in the cards for Southeast for the rest of the week.

“For the most part, we’re looking for a drier and warmer scenario for the next few days – looks like maybe highs up into the upper 60s, maybe even 70 possibly for Thursday, Friday, maybe even into the early part of the weekend,” Liske says.

That sun is expected to fade into damper, cloudier conditions later in the weekend.

KSTK - Wrangell

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