• 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

    UAA students walk to bring hope to campus

    by Dave Leval on Mar 26, 18:01

    The latest numbers show more people have reached out for help when considering suicide, but that not everyone who did found it. Native Student Services at the University of Alaska Anchorage hosted its annual walk across the campus Thursday to remind others there is still a reason to live. The walk aims to raise awareness of suicide, especially […]

  • News

    Latest on NY fire, building collapse: No gas odors reported

    by Associated Press on Mar 26, 17:21

    8:45 P.M. No gas odors were reported and no leaks were found before an apparent gas explosion that leveled a New York City apartment building. Utility Con Edison says a survey of the gas mains in the area was done Wednesday and nothing was found. The explosion was Thursday. Officials say the explosion happened amid […]

  • News

    24-hour run raises money for families of fallen airmen

    by Bonney Bowman on Mar 26, 17:18

    Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson airmen are running for 24 hours in memory of their fallen brothers — the TACP 24 Hour Memorial Run kicked off at 1 p.m. Thursday. A TACP — or tactical air control party — is a member of the Air Force who coordinates air strikes during battle. As part of the TACP […]

  • News

    Medical Examiner confirms some human remains as missing Kenai family

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 26, 14:00

    The State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Thursday that the adult human remains found in Kenai last week are those of Rebecca Adams and Brandon Jividen — part of the family that went missing in May 2014. The remains of the children “are presumed to be” Jaracca Hundley and Michelle Hundley, pending confirmation by DNA, according […]

  • Crime

    FBI brings active shooter training to Alaska law enforcement

    by Jacquie Slater on Mar 26, 13:56

    Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, (ALERRT) is a program designed to train police officers in how to effectively respond to incidents involving an active shooter. The program was created in 2002 and since then has trained more than 60,000 law enforcement professionals across the country. This week, the program came to Alaska. In March […]

  • Sports

    Iditarod musher’s dog missing after running away from handler

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 26, 12:07

    Iditarod 43 rookie musher Laura Allaway is reaching out to the public for help to find her sled dog that went missing after running away from an Anchorage handler. Allaway made the decision to drop the 3-year-old Alaskan Husky named Sarabi at the Nulato checkpoint because the dog was developing a sore shoulder. She hauled […]

  • News

    Air Force official touts Eielson assets at scoping meeting

    by Associated Press on Mar 26, 11:31

    An Air Force colonel says “phenomenal assets” at Eielson Air Force Base make it an attractive prospective home for new F-35 fighter jets. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1Izk29z) reports Col. Michael Winkler spoke Wednesday in Fairbanks at a public scoping meeting required before the Air Force can make a final decision on placement of 48 […]

  • DayBreak

    GoFundMe page set up for Anchorage coach battling lung cancer

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 26, 11:18

    He’s encouraged kids to never give up the fight and neither is he, or his friends and family. Local football coach and mentor, Will “Yogi” Foma’i, was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and has been undergoing treatment ever since. “He’s actually doing fairly well,” said Leilua Fadley, Foma’i's sister. “Chemo and treatment is taking […]