Updated 9:30 a.m.: The dense smoke advisory has been extended through Tuesday evening. Visibilities may be less than a mile in some areas. A smoke respite room has been set up at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
Dense smoke from Interior Alaska wildfires has moved into the Fairbanks and North Pole areas today, resulting in unhealthy to hazardous air quality and reduced visibility.
Sunday afternoon, visibility along the Richardson Highway around North Pole was reduced to less than a mile. Drivers are advised to keep their headlights on and drive cautiously. People should reduce or stop any prolonged physical exertion outdoors.
Heavy smoke is expected to persist through Monday morning, although it may vary in areas depending on wind direction.
A smoke respite room has been set up at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The Chandler Room on the first floor will be open 24 hours a day until further notice.
Several large fires are burning in the area north and east of Fairbanks, including the 115,000 acre Hess Creek Fire just north of Livengood, the Shovel Creek Fire near Murphy Dome, the Nugget Creek Fire in the Chena River State Recreation Area, as well as others burning near Manley Hot Springs, Denali National Park, Northway and Chalkyitsik. Smoke is spreading from the fires throughout the region, with air quality at hazardous levels in some areas.
With continued hot, dry weather for the next several days, wildfires are likely to continue to grow and smoke is likely to persist in the area. Highs in Fairbanks are forecast to be near 90 on Tuesday, before cooling slightly later in the week.
For the latest information on air quality, visit the Fairbanks North Star Borough air quality division at http://data.fnsb.us/airquality/AQNearRealTime.
For the latest smoke forecast, visit http://smoke.alaska.edu/
For fire updates, visit https://akfireinfo.com/