There have always been wildfires in Alaska.  It has been occuring for as long as there has been taiga.  (I had been through a few seasons of them.) However nothing could've prepared me--or anyone else for that matter--for the forest fire season of 2004.  It was beyond terrible.

      To give you some idea of just how bad the smoke got, here is a picture taken at the (eastward) terminus of Murphy Dome road on June 26th, 2004:

      The above picture was taken in broad daylight.  -It doesn't even look real, does it?

      The following four pictures were taken on the 29th of June.

      Taken on campus at the juncition of Taku Drive and Farmer's Loop Road:

      Take a look at the junction of University (Avenue) and College (Road):

      The view from the seventh floor of the Geophysical Institute:

      And as time passed, the smoke just kept getting thicker:

      The four above pictures were all also taken in BROAD DAYLIGHT.  (!!)

      On the following day, the light (or lack thereof) got almost surreal:

      I really like how the flash caught both the photographer (me :) )--and a fair amount of the room behind me.  I also wanted to note that the drop in the amount of light had nothing to do with the time of day (the sun was well up in the sky for every pic on this page)---it was all due to the incredible amount of smoke that was pouring in. :P

      On to more pictures of this most terrible blaze---or should I say "haze." :P :(