Fire and Rain

There have been so many wildfires in Alaska this summer. Already two and half million acres have burned this summer. There are 79 fires currently burning. Most are in remote wilderness areas but the largest ones just so happen to be very close to Interior communities. Firefighters are fighting twelve of the fires right now. Fairbanks, as most of the Interior, has been so smokey lately. Two nights ago we drove into town and visibility was about a quarter mile. The next day the airports were shut down due to such poor visibility and state troopers were advising people not to drive on the Parks Highway (the main and shortest route between Anchorage and Fairbanks with Denali NP about 2/3 along the way). Last night Andrew and I drove out to Chena Hot Springs, about 38 miles northeast, and the visibility was down to 50-100 yards. It looked like snow coming down in the headlights but it was ash falling from the sky. Thankfully, we got a little bit of rain yesterday and maybe a little bit more last night, but it's supposed to dry out again by tomorrow. Everybody down in TN try to send some of your rain our way. We need it bad!