As of 1:00 pm today, the Anchorage Health Department (AHD) is issuing an Air Quality Health Advisory for August 19-20, 2019 as wildfire smoke in the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) is anticipated to result in daily average concentration of PM2.5 (fine particle pollution less than 2.5 microns in diameter) that is considered to be Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups.

Air pollutants have a greater adverse effect on children, the elderly and individuals with health heart or lung ailments. Those who are especially sensitive to air pollution are advised to remain indoors whenever concentrations are forecast to reach or exceed levels considered unhealthy for sensitive groups (i.e. an AQI value exceeding 100). AHD is also advising all Anchorage citizens to avoid strenuous exercise and exertion outdoors while this health advisory is in effect. Please contact your health care provider if you have concerns.

Near real-time air quality conditions, which update at the top of each hour are available via the Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation air monitoring stations report available at: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Aq/

The Anchorage Health Department will continue to monitor and report conditions while there remains a likelihood of potentially unhealthful air quality conditions. The current air quality forecast can be obtained by calling the air quality hotline at 343-4899 or by visiting www.muni.org/air.

Additional information:

The National Weather Service is forecasting active fire conditions along with airflow from the southwest which is transporting smoky air from Kenai Peninsula region into Anchorage and Eagle River. The tiny particles in wood smoke are monitored as PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 microns). The single monitoring sites reporting this parameter within the MOA is the “Garden” station, in northeast Anchorage at 3000 E 16th Ave. For current air quality conditions at air monitoring stations within the State of Alaska, Air Monitoring network, please visit the following website: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Aq .

In locations where representative air quality data is not available, the following Air Quality Smoke Reference Guide may be used to estimate air quality levels resulting from wildfire smoke and its potential health impacts:

Visibility

Air Quality

10+ miles

6 - 9 miles

3 - 5 miles

1.5 - 2.5 miles

0.9 - 1.4 miles

0.8 miles or less

Good

Moderate

Unhealthy for sensitive groups

Unhealthy

Very Unhealthy

Hazardous

For current air quality conditions at air monitoring stations within the State of Alaska, Air Monitoring network, please visit the following website: http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Aq

The following table contains the cautionary statements for the Air Quality for Particle Pollution.

Air Quality Category

Cautionary Statements

Good

(0-50)

None

Moderate

(51-100)

Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

(101-150)

People with heart or lung disease, the elderly and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Unhealthy

(151-200)

People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion.

Very Unhealthy

(201-250)

People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid any outdoor activity; everyone else should avoid prolonged exertion.

Hazardous

(251-300)

Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.

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