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High Winds, Burn Danger in MatSu

By Matthew F Smith, Digital Producer, msmith@ktuu.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 04:00:02 PM AKST
Updated On: Feb 07 2014 04:40:19 PM AKST
 MatSu Winds
ANCHORAGE -

High winds and a “red flag” burn watch are creating an air quality advisory for the Mat-Su Valley.

The advisory was issued Tuesday and remained active Friday. The high wind warning is for strong northeast winds blowing between 30 to 55 mph, gusting to 65 to 80 mph, throughout the area.

The strong winds have wreaked havoc for some locals. A large truck was overturned on the Palmer Fishhook Rd. near the Glenn Highway. At the Wasilla airport, a small plane was flipped due to strong winds.

The winds have also led to periods of blowing dust and silt. Mat-Su officials say they have closed the Central Landfill due to the winds.

“The winds were at their worst (Thursday) night but they slowly improved today,” said Eileen Probasco, the Mat-Su Planning Director who issued the warning Tuesday. “It’s improved but it’s still not great.”

The air quality advisory remains in effect until wind subsides, Probasco said.

With snow pack low to non-existent throughout the valley, borough officials said that the strong winds and dry conditions also raise fire concerns. NOAA forecasters have issued a “red flag” warning for critical fire conditions. The warning is directed at fire agencies and the public.

The red flag warning is expected to be in affect through midnight Friday as NOAA meteorologists expect the winds to diminish into the evening.