Washington Smoke Map

*The map above is not able to display all state air quality monitors. Click here to see all monitors in Washington: WA Ecology Air Monitors

Note: Some users might notice intermittent discrepancies in colors shown on the map of air quality monitors above, and those reported on the Department of Ecology's official page. This is because Ecology believes their method of calculating the air quality category (i.e. “Good”, “Moderate”, Unhealthy” etc) is more protective of public health in Washington. If in doubt as to which better represents public health risk, use the more stringent of the two (i.e. the map showing worse air quality).

Monday, October 1, 2012

10/01 Did Fairbanks experience a worse smoke episode?

In 2004, wildfires in Alaska caused serious air quality impacts in Fairbanks and surounding areas.  Who had it worse, us or them?  Monitoring data from the 2012 Washington fires has been analyzed on-the-fly for daily alerts and warnings but we haven't yet analyzed and summarized the whole event.  Take a look at the Fairbanks experience.  http://dec.alaska.gov/air/am/2004_wf_sum.htm


  1. Hi, JL Peterson. Thanks for this great info. (I'm the one who asked the question on Sept. 28th about U.S. and worldwide similar events.) Since it's been 8 years, I wonder if anyone in AK has done follow up studies on health effects? I'm concerned because I have several friends who are marathoners and have been running 8-10 miles a day, sans masks. They're not worried for themselves, but I am. Have you forwarded this to the Wenatchee World? Maybe reach people who haven't yet found your blog. Thanks again for all you are doing!

  2. As near as we can tell, there were not any follow-up studies on public health effects from the air quality impacts in Fairbanks. In general the studies that have been done in various areas experiencing smoke impacts have shown an increase in respiratory symptoms and subsequent emergency room visits. A study of smoke effects from North Carolina peat fires showed incresed visits for cardiac issues. It's probably no surprise that running during the poor air quality is not advised (but I bet you knew that already).


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