Dozens of wildfires raging across the northwestern United States have spread a vail of smoke over the region, blocking the sun and causing health issues.
Smoke-filled skies have lead to poor air quality across the region that the Department of Environmental Quality warns could be bad for certain groups of people.
Those with heart or lung problems are especially vulnerable to the poor air quality and should avoid the smoke by saying indoors and keeping the doors and windows closed. People should also avoid strenuous outdoor activity in the smoky conditions.
So far this year, more than 7.4 million acres have been burned by wildfires, well above the normal average of 5.2 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
The NIFC also detailed how firefighters have come from as far away as Australia and New Zealand to battle the blazes across the Pacific Northwest.
Homes and businesses may be threatened as the massive wildfires continue to spread.
Currently, none of the 72 active large fires in the United States are contained, many of which burning across the West.
Unfortunately, firefighters will have to wait until the weekend for rain to return to the region, helping to put out the wildfires over the Pacific Northwest.
Winds associated with the rain may help to spread some of the fires, but at the same time, will help to rid the region of the smoke that has lingered overhead since late last week.
#Smoke in #LCValley from surrounding fires #GrizzleyComplexFire #ClearwaterComplexFire #Idaho #Washington #Oregon pic.twitter.com/r8BaCzzB3d— Bossy Darth Kitteh (@eloracnasus) August 24, 2015
Smoke from the western wildfires has spread eastward over part of the Plains. (Photo/NASA)
Pretty unbelievable map of current wildfire conditions & the extent of smoke & haze across the US. #wildfires #smoke pic.twitter.com/xDSmx8ii6z— Becky Elliott (@AccuWxBeck) August 23, 2015
Here's the satellite from Sunday showing wildfire smoke over the entire NW US. Yes, that's all smoke. pic.twitter.com/ISkN42RjxI— NWS Spokane (@NWSSpokane) August 24, 2015
Serious smoke in #kelowna from #Stickpin fire in Washington St.BC firefighters heading south to help.Many homes lost pic.twitter.com/J4HQeQdrOZ— Bruce (@Badad19) August 24, 2015
5 pm MDT Comparison of what our visibility looks like from the #Missoula airport. #mtwx @NWSCWSUZLC pic.twitter.com/anGkddsqKx— NWS Missoula (@NWSMissoula) August 23, 2015
Smokey hazy #sunset in the works in #seattle.. it is only 6:45pm and the rays are already golden! Crazy clouds too! pic.twitter.com/f7zNgpsJ2s— Sigma Sreedharan (@sigmas) August 23, 2015
Smoky sunrise on Lake Washington this morning #WAWildfires #seattle pic.twitter.com/mLAKI4hseH— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) August 23, 2015