• 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

    Online scams blend in with busy shopping season

    by Kate McPherson on Nov 28, 22:27

    It’s the season when businesses take extra steps to make you part with your money and unfortunately, criminals use the same tactics — commonly via email. “They send out a thousand emails, they only need one or two people to actually fall for it,” said Glen Klinkhart with Digital Securus, an information security consulting group […]

  • News

    Moderate quake rattles Anchorage area

    by Associated Press on Nov 28, 21:54

    A moderate earthquake rattled south-central Alaska and was felt in Anchorage and other locations, but officials say there have been no reports of any problems. The U.S. Geological survey says the magnitude-4.8 temblor struck at 7:14 p.m. Friday and was centered about 100 miles northwest of Anchorage and about 60 miles beneath the earth’s surface. […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 28

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 28, 20:30

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound - Skies will be snowy starting tonight and going through tomorrow. An inch or two is possible. Panhandle - Skies will be mostly cloudy with snow in the far north. Interior – This region will be mostly cloudy with an afternoon chance of snow at Fairbanks. Slope areas will be mostly cloudy […]

  • News

    Lawmakers meet to discuss LNG projects, public not invited

    by Dave Leval on Nov 28, 20:05

    Government business in Alaska is pretty much open to the public, except when it comes to natural gas. Lawmakers gathered at the Legislative Information Office in downtown Anchorage Friday, discussing information on the proposed Alaska liquified natural gas project. The public was not invited. Lawmakers who attended the hearing defended the action. “We have an […]

  • News

    Local stores look to cash in on Small Business Saturday

    by Bonney Bowman on Nov 28, 19:32

    Black Friday has meant big business for big stores for years, but a more recent trend is helping out the smaller retailers. Small Business Saturday kicked off in 2010, and local business owners are hoping it brings them a boost this holiday season. Bella Boutique owner Annie Ciszak Pazar wants people to think local this […]

  • News

    2 die in separate icy Interior collisions

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 28, 15:42

    Two people died in separate Interior collisions after drivers lost control of vehicles on icy roads, Alaska State Troopers say. Parks Highway single-vehicle rollover Jerome Simmons, 45, of Summerville, S.C., was driving along the Parks Highway near Cantwell Wednesday evening when he lost control of his Toyota sedan and rolled the vehicle at Mile 154, […]

  • News

    Black Friday frenzy at Cabela’s

    by Heather Hintze on Nov 28, 12:56

    Chilly temperatures didn’t stop hundreds of Cabela’s customers from lining up early Black Friday morning. At the head of the line — which stretched down to C Street — the Nelson family. “We got here about 5:30 last night,” explained Max Nelson. “We’re mainly waiting for a reloading kit and ammo.” Cabela’s staff took care […]

  • News

    Fairbanks municipalities plan marijuana meeting

    by Associated Press on Nov 28, 10:54

    Three municipalities within the Fairbanks North Star Borough will meet next week to discuss the new state law legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/1y0CaG2) reports a public forum hosted by the borough assembly and the Fairbanks and North Pole city councils is planned for Tuesday night. Officials at the intergovernmental work […]