As a wildfire scorches hundreds of acres along the northwest side of Cook Inlet, Mountain View streets were thick with the smell of smoke Thursday morning.
The Chugach Mountains were obscured by haze, and clouds of smoke drifted down Thompson Avenue. The smell permeated homes and coated the streets outside.
According to the Anchorage Fire Department, the smoke comes from a 1,500-acre fire burning near Tyonek and Beluga. Local health officials warn residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors; children and elderly people are also advised to avoid exposure to the smoke.
At Mountain View Elementary School, Principal Chris Woodward said the school would follow the Anchorage School District’s advice and hold all outside activities indoors.
“For us, that just means indoor recess,” Woodward wrote in an email Thursday morning.
Colder temperatures can make conditions worse. While warmer weather carries the smoke upwards, the state’s Division of Air Quality said the cooler weather can keep the smoke near the ground’s surface.