Thick smoke covered much of central Alaska on June 30, 2004, when the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) on the Orbview-2 satellite captured this image. The tan smoke is being swept west over the Bering Strait and into Russia. The United States Environmental Protection Agency issued an air quality alert for over 80,000 people in Alaska’s interior, north of the Alaskan range. In the center of the affected region is the city of Fairbanks, where the air quality has received a “hazardous” rating—the most serious level on the EPA’s six point air quality index. At such levels, visibilities are one-half mile or less, and residents are urged to remain indoors. For more information, please visit the EPA’s AIRNow site.
Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
In Alaska, the landscape is already changing over to its fall wardrobe, with summerâ€™s green being traded for brown and gold. Fires, some of which have been burning since before the beginning of summer, were still smoldering on September 7, 2004.