Air quality advisory issued for Anchorage, Eagle River

Tegan Hanlon

Vehicles kicking up dirt and sand on roadways and parking lots prompted health officials Wednesday to issue an air quality advisory for Anchorage and Eagle River.

Concentrations of airborne particles "have again reached unhealthy levels," said the Anchorage Department of Health an Human Services.

A combination of cold and dry weather has made exposed sediments and traction materials more easily airborne, said Matt Stichick, environmental engineer with the municipality's air quality program.

"Dusty conditions may continue as long as current weather patterns persist," said the health department advisory. "Dust concentrations are expected to be highest along major roadways, especially during and following peak traffic hours."

The department has advised those with heart and lung ailments, like asthma and bronchitis, to avoid dusty areas near major traffic hubs. People with severe lung disease should remain indoors, the advisory said.

An air quality advisory also remains in effect for the Matanuska Valley. Pam Graham, Mat-Su Borough spokeswoman, said that she expects the advisory to last for several days as high winds stir up dust in the area.

Air quality updates in Anchorage, Eagle River and Mat-Su are available at or by calling the Air Quality Hotline at 343-4899.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4589.