August 4, 2009

One Pack of Marlboro Lights Please

I think I'd like to start smoking. With Alaska on fire, I feel like I should at least get a nicotine buzz from all the smoke.

Despite very few wildfires in the Arctic or even within 100 miles of Toolik, we have spent much of the past 2 weeks smothered in smoke.

(click image to see detail)
The yellow indicates area burned. In less than 2 weeks the burn scar across Alaska has increased from 1 million to now 2.5 million acres. Most of the fires are in the interior part of the state. Toolik, which sits 300 miles north of many of the largest fires, has been thick with smoke when the wind blows from the south. Many days our horizon is just a pale blue.

Taken from a time-lapse camera looking out my Toolik office window.
Sunday, Aug 2
Wind direction: N
A rare day of clear skies and clean air.

Monday, Aug 3
Wind direction: S
This is typical of what we get these days.

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