Smokey haze colors Sitka’s days
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Fire danger remains high in the Yukon due to unseasonably warm and dry weather. This photo was taken in late June of this year. (Flickr photo/Jason Arhns)
Sitka’s otherwise clear weather on Monday (7-15-13) was marred by smoke from forest fires in Canada.
Joel Curtis is with the National Weather Service in Juneau. Once a day his office receives satellite imagery that can detect the heat of wildfires.
“And I’m seeing about a dozen right now in the Yukon Territory.”
There are a pair of fires likely affecting the air in Southeast Alaska, both east of Carmacks. Curtis says the fires cool down somewhat at night, and then start generating more smoke as the day wears on.
The smoke created a pinkish hue as it filtered sunlight in Sitka in the early afternoon, but Sitka is not getting the worst of it.
“Well, the sun came up here in Juneau. It was brown when it came up over the mountains. And it looks like you have on those yellow-tinted glasses. Everything has that pale look.”
Curtis says the weather pattern pushing the smoke our way should persist for a while — with some breaks. He says it’s possible that the smoke may move more to the east on Tuesday afternoon, and Southeast will return to normal cloudcover.
Sometime in August crews working on the Blue Lake hydro project in Sitka will shut off the old penstock from the dam and connect a new one -- work that will leave the town without its drinking water supply for up to four months. In the meantime, the city is returning to its former water plant on the Indian River, but it’s not a matter of turning a few valves. Because of higher drinking water standards, Sitka has rented a temporary filtration plant -- at a cost of about $1-million per month. more
Sitka Fine Arts Camp director Roger Schmidt and development intern Melissa Campbell discuss the camp's Restoration Internship Program. Twenty-six college students from around the country are working to save the former Sheldon Jackson College laundry, aka "Smokestack Building." Learn more about the Save It or Lose It campaign
online. Also, check out a video of the project here. more