• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 43s

Air quality fluctuates in Anchorage as Southcentral wildfires burn

By Lauren Maxwell 3:26 PM May 22, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Air quality has improved in Anchorage since Thursday morning, but health officials say residents can’t bank on it staying that way.

A haze hung over Anchorage in the morning that made it difficult to make out the Chugach Mountains. Smoke from the Tyonek and Funny River fires can still be smelled in Anchorage, and drove municipal air quality levels to a “very unhealthy” designation Thursday morning. The health department recommended everyone remain indoors if feasible and avoid strenuous exercise.

But by Thursday afternoon, that recommendation had changed and air quality was considered “moderate” and improving.

“It just kind of tells you how unpredictable this whole thing is,” said Steve Morris with the city health department. “It could be very different from one hour to the next or even one part of town to the next.”

The National Weather Service predicts northerly winds will clear the Anchorage Bowl of even more smoke over the next few hours. But by late Friday afternoon that is expected to change once again.

“By tomorrow afternoon or evening we are going to start to see a wind shift and this will bring a steady south wind,” said the National Weather Service’s Christian Cassell. “This is going to push the smoke up towards our area.”

Cassell said dry, smoky weather is predicted for the Memorial Day weekend, with no rain or changes in sight.

Dust masks

The DHHS says that dust masks and surgical masks do not protect your lungs from small particles in smoke. Health officials recommend using N95 masks, which can be bought at hardware stores. N95 masks have two straps and have a “NIOSH” stamp, indicating that they’re certified respirators. To offer proper protection, however, the mask needs to fit to your face properly.

To check the current Anchorage air quality status, call (907) 343-4899.

–Hope Miller contributed reporting

 

Latest Stories

  • News

    Government Hill gives back, continues holiday tradition for one resident

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 17:02

    Putting up Christmas lights and decorations is a holiday tradition for Government Hill resident Jeff Fowler. “It started when we lived on the south end of town,” said Fowler. “One at a time, started buying them and when we moved here, new and more stuff just started showing up.“ Over the years, the grand display […]

  • News

    Obama highlights Sitka School District’s efforts in technology

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 13:00

    This week, the Sitka School District got a shout-out from President Barack Obama. Superintendent of Sitka Schools Mary Wegner was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, joining more than 100 superintendents from across the country gathered together at the White House for the ConnectED to the Future conference. The day-long event recognized some of the nation’s […]

  • News

    Fairbanks prisoner accused of soliciting murder

    by Associated Press on Nov 22, 12:01

    An imprisoned former chiropractor and gun dealer from Fairbanks has been accused of attempting to solicit the murder of federal officers while behind bars. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://goo.gl/VVMn92 ) reports Guy Christopher Mannino, 56, has been in prison since Oct. 2013 awaiting sentencing for federal weapons charges. The office of the U.S. Attorney says […]

  • News

    Alaska Gov.-elect Walker names full transition team

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 11:47

    Gov.-elect Bill Walker has taken his first big step towards taking over the helm of outgoing Gov. Sean Parnell. Walker kicked off his transition conference Friday night at the Alaska Airlines Center. There, about 300 people showed up to hear the incoming administration’s overview of Alaska’s current financial situation. Walker was blunt in his address, saying […]

  • News

    5,000 toys to be delivered to tots around Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 22, 11:06

    Alaska Airlines and the U.S. Marines are getting into the holiday spirit and children around Alaska are reaping the benefits. Friday, Marines delivered nearly 5,000 toys to the airline’s cargo hanger to be shipped out to children across the state. As part of their annual Toys for Tots program, all of the gifts were donated […]

  • News

    Winter gives cold shoulder to Anchorage snow-based business

    by Dave Leval on Nov 21, 22:35

    Plow trucks usually hit the road around Alaska this time of year, clearing snow from parking lots and roads. But this year, most are parked in driveways, waiting for the next big snowfall to hit the Anchorage area. “We’ve got all the plows off the trucks,” said Mike Anderson, owner of Alaska Premier Services. It’s […]

  • News

    Caring for our soldiers at home

    by Bonney Bowman on Nov 21, 21:51

    Alaska soldiers deployed to Afghanistan have been home for a couple days; getting used to life away from the war and back with their families. It can be a tough adjustment, but the U.S. Army works to help the soldiers make a smooth transition. 1st Lt. Nathan Seaman and his fellow soldiers are going through […]

  • News

    Alaskan advocates optimistic about Obama immigration plan

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 21, 20:52

    Alaskans are reacting to President Obama’s controversial plans to take executive action on immigration. Obama’s plan offers temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants, including thousands in the 49th state. It also protects undocumented parents of children born in the states. Republicans are questioning the president’s right to bypass Congress and act on his own. […]