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.
After 53 years of continuous service, the turbines at Sitka’s Blue Lake Hydro plant are quiet. Walt Dangel, one of the original powerhouse operators at Blue Lake, threw the switches turning off the plant in a small decommissioning ceremony Monday morning (8-18-14). Dangel was assisted by Frank Rogers, Sitka’s senior plant operator. The two old turbines produce a combined 6 megawatts of power. They’re being replaced by three new turbines that will produce 16 megawatts. more
Sitka Fellow Rachel Baxter discusses her work as a multimedia artist and printmaker. Baxter will host a free experimental drawing workshop on Wednesday, August 20th, at 7:30p.m. The workshop will focus on fumage, the act of drawing with smoke. more