Smoke from Levelock Fire hangs over Dillingham

Aug 22, 2019

Smoke from a 5,000-acre fire near Levelock has settled over Dillingham. A period of substantial rainfall is necessary to tamp down threats of wildfires.

Credit Izzy Ross

Smoke from the Levelock Fire has made its way to Dillingham.

Climate specialist Rick Thoman said these conditions could have an immediate impact on people with respiratory problems.

“Especially folks with asthma or impaired lung capacity, even relatively low amounts of wildfire smoke that just kind of make it hazy can really exacerbate those conditions for those sensitive people and of course as you would expect, infants as well,” Thoman said.

People who live in smoky areas are advised to keep air in their homes fresh by keeping their windows. Those with sensitivities to wildfire smoke should avoid strenuous activity.

Thoman said until there is at least a week of rainfall, wildfires will continue to pose a threat to the region.

“The ground conditions – fuel conditions – are susceptible to these accidental starts," Thoman said. "So what we really need is the weather patterns to change and get into a more typical Bristol Bay wet fall weather.”

The smoke is expected to linger in the Dillingham area until there is a change in wind direction.

You can contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200