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.
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. 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. 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:
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.