The interior Alaska wildfires this last week have been epic. The smoke was so thick the sky was no longer visible. When the sun did show through the billowing smoke it was shade of red and orange.
The dry spruce forest were ideal conditions for the rash of recent lighting strikes to start many fires through out region. The earlier snow melting and the more intense summer heat resulted in large quantities of combustible material on the forest floor. In addition the minimal tree moisture supported the ideal fire conditions These weather changes and current fire conditions have been directly linked to global climate change.
The air quality as of this morning news check was rated as unhealthy. The Air quality monitor had the particulate level at 2.5. However late morning we have been blessed with rain. This will hopefully slow down the progression of the larger nearby fires.
Interestedly enough locals have spoken of the summer of 2004 being much worse. The fires destroyed even a larger area of forest. Some estimates for 2004 have the total amount at over 1 million acres. What has been evident through out this entire week is the unstoppable spirit of the local communities. The people have been supporting each other through the ordeal and getting out and enjoying life regardless of the situation.