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Wildfires take toll on Alaskans’ health

For Immediate Release
Feb. 4, 2005

More than 6 million acres of Alaska were burned in wildfires throughout the summer of 2004. Smoke from those fires created unhealthy breathing conditions for residents outdoors, and on some smoky days, the air quality indoors also was hazardous.

Cathy Cahill, an associate professor of chemistry and atmospheric sciences at the Geophysical Institute, analyzed the air conditions, while the wildfires raged. She found Fairbanks homes provided minimal reprieve from the dangerous levels of particulate matter floating in wildfire smoke. In her lecture, “Alaska Wildfires and How They Affect Our Health,” Cahill will discuss her findings and describe the toll this smoke took on residents’ health.

The lecture is free and will be held in two Alaska cities: In Fairbanks at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 8th in the Westmark Gold Room; and in Anchorage at 7:15 p.m. Monday, February 14, at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The 2005 Science for Alaska Lecture Series is coordinated by the Geophysical Institute and sponsored by the BP ConocoPhillips Fund from the University of Alaska Foundation.

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