Trucking Through Fires 2004

I just wanted to share with you this amazing photo Jack took in 2004 when wildfires were raging on the Dalton Highway.  Trucks were still moving through but the air quality for drivers was terrible.  Smoke combined with dusty dry conditions.  This was a non-digital photo that I scanned and ran some enhancing on, to a surprisingly interesting effect.

The Alaska West truck has just driven out of heavy smoke and has a substantial dust trail (click photo to enlarge to proper size).  Windy dry conditions exacerbated the fire intensity and level of destruction.

Truck Driving through Wildfire Smoke - Dalton Highway, Alaska 2004

Wikipedia says about the 2004 Alaska fire season:

The 2004 Alaska fire season was the worst on record in terms of area burned by wildfires in the U.S. state of Alaska.[1] Though fewer individual fires formed than in 1989 when almost 1,000 were recorded, more than 6,600,000 acres (27,000 km2) were burned by the approximately 700 fires that ignited. The largest of these fires was the Taylor Complex Fire, which encompassed 1,700,000 acres (6,900 km2) and was the largest fire in the United States from 1997 to 2007.[2] The Boundary Fire, Wolf Creek Fire, Chatanika Fire, and a fire that enveloped the Trans-Alaska Pipeline also received notable attention from firefighting services and the media. All together 426 fires were started by humans and 215 were started by lightning.

Map from Wikipedia:

Map of Alaska Wildfires 2004

You can see how at least one fire burned right over the Dalton.  Even Jack thinks it was a little scary to drive through these fires.  You really can’t see the road but for a few feet… he says the drivers call it “driving by Braille”.  🙂

Thanks for reading!  More wildfire photos to come.

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6 comments on “Trucking Through Fires 2004

  1. Papa Jim says:

    Papa Jim says that the main person On Jack’ s blog is a goodone.

  2. Great photo. I added that to my pinterest board.

  3. Chris Oliver says:

    That looks bad, when Jack says its a little scary to drive through then it must been intense, casue his one of them fearless truckers of the Dalton. Hope there wasn’t any wildlife that caught in fire.

    • judyinalaska says:

      Exactly, he isn’t scared by much on that road anymore. And I’m sure there were plenty of wildlife fatalities. What breaks my heart are the possible young birds that haven’t fledged yet, and other young animals, depending on the time of year. 😦 I think it was July so that’s better than June.

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