March 24, 2017: The past 24 hour the AQI value was 39, "Good" air quality. The AQI forecast for Friday is 35 "Good" air quality. The forecast for Anchorage and Eagle River this holiday weekend is an AQI value of 30 for Saturday, 30 for Sunday and 35 for Seward’s Day on Monday,"Good" air quality.
We will update this forecast Tuesday morning here, and by voice message at (907) 343-4899 or sooner if conditions change.
If you plan to burn for heat or pleasure, please make small, hot fires. Avoid filling the wood box and damping down the airflow to make the wood last longer because this generates more smoke in your neighborhood and yields less energy from your wood.
The most current air quality levels available can be accessed online through a link below for "short term air quality data for the Anchorage area". The link immediately below explains AQI values and their health effect significance.
Forecasts are available here weekday mornings, and can also be obtained by calling 343-4899. The numbers reported relate pollutant concentrations to health effects that may be experienced at those levels by means of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index. For further information about the index from EPA click here.
Get the most recent air quality data from stations in Anchorage and Eagle River by means of the Alaska AQI. Levels given use data from recent hours only at each monitoring site. They will differ from the EPA index reported and forecast above because of their short-term nature. The Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation maintains this information. Monitors within the Municipality include "Garden" - a site in the Airport Heights neighborhood in north Anchorage; "Laurel" - located on Tudor Road near the intersection with Lake Otis; "Parkgate" - a site on the Old Glenn Hwy. in the business district of Eagle River. Though monitors continuously collect data, reporting of information from sites via the internet may be periodically interrupted.
During periods of smoke intrusion, people with respiratory illness or heart disease, the elderly, children, and pregnant women are advised to avoid exposure to smoke. When in areas of smoke, avoid outdoor activities and physical exertion.
Link to Alaska DEC Wildfire Smoke Health Q&A
Using Visual Distance to Assess Smoke Levels
Air Quality and Outdoor Activity Guidance for Schools - from US EPA and CDC's School Flag Program Air Quality Program
The Air Quality Program is responsible for monitoring and reporting levels of air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and fine particles, within the municipality of Anchorage. The Program also responds to local air quality complaints and is responsible for various air quality projects. To step through the information and services provided by this program, click on links on this and succeeding pages. For current air quality conditions, call the Air Quality Hotline at 343-4899.
Merrill Field Lead Monitoring Study
The Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has completed a one-year monitoring study of airborne lead levels at the Merrill Field Airport. Merrill Field was one of 15 airports selected by the EPA for lead monitoring. This monitoring will help determine whether airports serving large numbers of piston aircraft meet new, more stringent air quality standards for airborne lead set by the EPA in 2008. Click here to view the report or an overview of the study can be found on the Merrill Field Airborne Lead Monitoring Fact Sheet.
Anchorage Benzene Monitoring Studies
The Air Quality Program has completed a year-long study of indoor and outdoor benzene levels in Anchorage. Previous studies conducted in Anchorage suggested that levels of benzene in outdoor air and inside homes were higher than those in most of the U.S. An overview of the studies can be found on the Anchorage Benzene Monitoring Studies Fact Sheet.
The full studies can be found at:
Anchorage Outdoor Benzene Study Phase 1
Indoor Benzene Concentrations in Homes with Attached Garages.
Anchorage Air Monitoring Data and Trends report: The Air Quality Program publishes a comprehensive annual report summarizing air quality data and trends. To view the report, please click here. This report is also available in the Alaska Collection of the Loussac Library in Anchorage.
Wind blown dust in front of Pioneer Peak in Palmer. Anchorage can receive dust from the Matanuska Valley on windy days. Photo by Caren del Cioppa and used with permission.