Before and during forest fire photos

A few weeks ago Jack and I went north on the Steese Highway to camp for a few days.  When we got there it was a normal clear day but dense smoke rolled in later in the weekend and luckily we were on our way out.  The road we were on, US Creek Road, gave us a good view of the hillside and one fire.  A helicopter was scoping it out but you can’t see it very well in the photos.  Later the road was closed by BLM.  There’s a couple of Jack fishing shots too.  The grayling weren’t biting but I think Jack could’ve kept trying for hours….well he did actually.  To view them at the correct size, click on the top one and scroll to the right.

 

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Satellite image of Alaska – smoke and clouds

Here’s a satellite image of Alaska from several days ago, June 22nd.  The clouds are white and fluffy; the gray underneath them is smoke from wildfires.  You can actually download a large image on the NASA website and zoom way in.  It’s amazing really, how beautiful Alaska is, regardless of what hell it’s putting us through.  Here’s the link:  http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=86098&src=fb

Satellite image of Alaska 6-22-15

Here’s what a wildfire looks like from an airplane. Fascinating.  Thanks for the photo Joe Kemp.

Smoke from a wildfire, photo from Joe Kemp

 

Current interior Alaska wildfires

In case anyone is interested, here is an image showing how many wildfires are burning in interior and south central Alaska.  The two down by Anchorage are wreaking havoc and there are a bunch around Delta.  Here is the website where you can get up to date info about this:  http://smoke.arsc.edu/current_fires.html

Wildfires in Alaska as of June 19 2015

 

Smoke & Heat in Fairbanks, Alaska

It’s been an interesting summer so far in interior Alaska.  First we had snow and low temperatures until mid-May, and then we had about 3 weeks of 80 and 90 degree weather.  When you live somewhere that is cold and dry for 8 or 9 months of the year any heat you can get is like charging some inner battery.  So let’s just say we have adequately charged our batteries…life was great…until the smoke rolled in!  Right now we have well over a hundred fires burning throughout Alaska, some small and some large, some being fought near towns and some being left alone to burn.

Forest Fires in Alaska - July 1, 2013The University of Alaska has a sensational website showing where fires are burning in Alaska. Here is a screen shot from it taken July 1st.  The website, UAFSMOKE: Wildfire Smoke Prediction for Alaska, is in it’s experimental phase but when finished should be able to tell us when smoke is going to reach a given area around Fairbanks.  This is when Jack and I shut all our windows and turn on the air filters, so we’d love to know ahead of time.  (Sometimes though, like the other day, its 80 degrees out and our house is baking with us trapped inside.)

One of the fires that is plaguing us is Skinny’s Road fire, the yellow dot that is close to the upper right of the word Alaska on the map.  It’s about 20 miles away from us and on the other side of the Parks Highway.  But any of the ones in that general area could be causing the our smoke problems right now.  The crazy thing is, you can go to bed with a heavy smokey haze outside and wake up to a bright clear day because wind patterns are changing so much.  So Jack and I are constantly sniffing the air to decide when to close or open the windows.

The smoke affects certain people more than others and Jack is not greatly affected.  He even went out and chainsawed some logs last weekend with the mosquitoes and haze surrounding him.  A day off is a day off and you have to get something done.  But I have to stay inside because I feel a heaviness in my chest when the smoke gets bad, and if I breathe it in too long my sinuses and allergies act up too.  People with asthma and respiratory problems like COPD are in big trouble if they don’t get into a safer environment.  Just about everyone gets a headache if out in it for too long.

All in all, here at our house Jack and I have had only about 48 hours of dense dangerous smoke, so we are beyond thankful for that, considering how many are burning around us as you can see from the map.  Below is a photo from June 21st, 2010, late in the evening under the midnight sun during Solstice, looking southward down from a turnout on the Parks Highway onto the Tanana Valley where a fire smolders (on the left in the photo) and sends its wispy smoke westward (to the right). Click it for a larger image.

Forest fire in the Tanana Valley

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July!

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More Dalton Highway Wildfire Photos

Truck Driving through Wildfire Smoke - Dalton Highway, Alaska 2004

In the last post I described the terrible forest fires of 2004.

Here are more photos that Jack took that year.  Don’t forget you have to click on them to see them at their proper size.

Scary!

Smoke on the Dalton HighwayFire spreading across the tundra

Fire on the Dalton Highway

Forest Fire in the Distance

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

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