Minto, Alaska had air quality so bad this morning that, according to live tracking by the Environmental Protection Agency, it was off the air quality charts:
A forest fire near Livengood, north of Fairbanks, is now at more than 145,000 acres, adding to smoke from the Shovel Creek Fire to make conditions across the interior unhealthy.
The air quality in Minto, population 210, this morning was bad enough to be a health hazard to all residents, regardless of their underlying health condition, according to the website PurpleAir.com, which monitors and reports air quality in real time. Minto had by far the worst air among all sites measured on the planet.
Other sites in Alaska had no bragging rights for air quality, as fires burn in Kenai, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks. Most of the big fires were caused by lightning strikes.
Readers visiting the PurpleAir.com website may find better or worse conditions around Alaska and the world as the winds shift and fires change course.
But for those in Minto, they probably don’t need to be told that these are choking conditions.