Canadian wildfires pushing smoke across Puget Sound

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FERNDALE, Wash. — The hazy skies across Puget Sound are the result of wildfires burning in British Columbia, Canada, and it may stick around for a while.

Air quality alerts were in place for both Skagit and Whatcom counties on Monday.

It almost looks like any other cloudy day but the haze is actually from more than 70 wildfires burning across British Columbia.

“This kind of air quality is really unusual for us here,” said Katie Skipper with the Northwest Clean Air Agency.

In some places even the sun had trouble punching through the thick haze.

In Whatcom County the Northwest Clean Air Agency registered spikes in pollution late Sunday night, which sent air quality tumbling.

“(It was) unhealthy and very unhealthy category for much of night,” said Skipper. “When air quality is that bad we advise everyone to stay indoors.”

And even though the winds were breezy, they weren’t strong enough to push out the thick smoke.

Health experts suggest people close windows, limit outdoor activity and stay inside when air quality plummets to hazardous levels.

The thick, hazy layer of smoke could stick around for a few days, perhaps until Friday, when forecasts suggest the wind should change direction.

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