Russian haze hangs in Interior

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) Smoke from fires burning in eastern Russia drifted almost 3,000 miles and created a haze over the Interior on Monday.

Maggie Rogers, information officer for the Alaska Fire Service, said smoke from fires burning 500 miles northeast of Magadan drifted for days before reaching the Interior. The fires are in the Chukchi Peninsula in eastern Siberia.

When wind started blowing from the southwest the past couple of days, it blew the smoke in and created the illusion that there were new fires somewhere else in the Alaska.

''The only fires that started yesterday were the four fires with Alaska Division of Forestry,'' Rogers said. ''They were all small and human caused.''

Three of those fires were in the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna area and one was on the Kenai Peninsula.

Currently, 26 fires are active in Alaska and three are burning with limited suppression in the Upper Yukon area, the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reported.

Rain last week put a damper on fire activity across the state.

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