Seem hazy lately? Smoke from wildfires in Siberia might be what you’re noticing

Wildfires raging in Siberia during the last week have carried smoke to Southcentral Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, according to the National Weather Service.

Strong winds pushed the smoky air into the region starting in the middle of last week, although Patrick Doll of the weather service said cloud cover began shifting into the area on Sunday, which may make it harder to tell if the air is smoky or just cloudy.

Fires were burning across more than 3.4 million acres of Siberia last week, according to NASA. The region saw heavy wildfires last year, also, and some of the fires this year have reignited from hotspots that did not extinguish fully over the winter. Siberia is also facing record-breaking temperatures this year, reaching 100.4 degrees for the first time, NASA reported.

[Related: The Arctic is on fire: Siberian heat wave alarms scientists]

Doll said it’s not unusual for smoke to drift into Alaska from other parts of the world and he said that wildfires in Siberia last year carried over some smoke, although Alaska already had hazy skies from wildfires burning within the state.

It’s not possible to tell how much longer skies here could be hazy, Doll said, because it’s dependent on firefighting efforts in Siberia. He said temperatures throughout Southcentral Alaska are expected to cool down throughout the week.

Smoke has been reported in western Oregon and in Canada, also.

We have been fielding some calls from folks in Southcentral Alaska about a significant haze and smoke smell in that...

Posted by Alaska DNR- Division of Forestry (DOF) on Thursday, 2 July 2020

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Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at