Choking winter smoke has returned with a vengeance to North Pole, Alaska.
Alaska DEC declared the first UNHEALTHY Air Quality Advisory this winter:
This is the earliest winter-season UNHEALTHY advisory from Alaska DEC on record.
On Oct 24, 2012 at the North Pole Fire Station #3 monitoring site, the 24-hour average was 78 micrograms/cubic meter with the highest peak hour of 182 micrograms/cubic meter. On Oct 25, hourly PM 2.5 is currently 57 micrograms/cubic meter. Conditions are essentially dead calm, at 1 mph or less.
EPA describes the health effects of UNHEALTHY levels of PM 2.5:
Increased aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; increased respiratory effects in general population.
Fire Station #3 at 3288 Hurst Road at Dawson Road is squarely in North Pole’s Rectangle of Death – aptly named by Borough air quality staff.
Also review: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner news article Air quality alert issued for North Pole Oct 25, 2012