News & Politics

DC’s Skies Are Hazy Today Because of Wildfires Out West

The region is currently under a code orange air-quality alert.

Photograph by Alek Krautmann/@AlekKrautmann.

The Washington region is currently under an air-quality alert due to smoke from wildfires in the western United States and Canada. The alert is code orange, which means that the air pollution could affect groups like children, the elderly, or those who have asthma or heart and lung issues.

Other metropolitan cities along the East Coast like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia are also under an air-quality alert today. However, a cold front is supposed to move through the DC area that will carry away the smoke Thursday and Friday. Until then, the National Weather Service recommends avoiding exercise or strenuous activity outdoors.

Currently, the wildfires have burned over 1,300,000 acres in 13 states. Extreme temperatures and drought throughout the western portion of the country have contributed to wildfire spread. And this isn’t the first time smoke has carried across the country: This also happened last September, when smoke from West Coast wildfires covered the sky in DC.

Here are some tweets of locals snapping photos of the haze:

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.