Fairbanks gets smoke from wildfires

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Recurring wildfire smoke over Fairbanks is expected to continue for several days, and state officials have issued a health warning about it.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued a health advisory Wednesday cautioning children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart problems in the Fairbanks area to reduce physical activity and remain indoors on days where smoke is visible.

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital treated two patients Wednesday for shortness of breath related to the bad air, hospital spokesman Rick Solie said.

The National Weather Service predicts the smoke will be the most dense late nights and early mornings.

Light rain across the Interior Wednesday did little to inhibit the smoke, the weather service said.

''We don't have the warmth of the sun due to the cloud cover to disperse the smoke,'' said weather service meteorologist Ted Fathauer, so the smoke has been trapped in a cool layer of air near the earth's surface.

Fairbanks is virtually surrounded by wildfires, so a slight change in wind is not likely to spark smoke relief, said John See, a spokesman for the Alaska Division of Forestry.

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