SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — No major wildfires are burning near Sacramento but for two weeks a dull haze and the faint smell of smoke from distant blazes has blanketed California's capital region, forcing summer campers to stay inside, obscuring normally bright skylines and leaving ash on cars.
Experiencing smoky air from blowing winds is nothing new in many California cities, but Sacramento air quality experts say it's rare for the dirty air to linger for so long, a reality of ever-larger fires that take longer to extinguish.
The haze stretches to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and nearly every major population center in between has suffered air quality that's considered dangerous for children, the elderly and people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
Kaela Baylis used to take her nearly 2-year-old son to a park twice a day, but has only gone in the morning the last 10 days.
"He asks to go outside a lot in the afternoon," she said Wednesday.
There are two major wildfires — one called the Mendocino Complex Fire that is the largest in California history — burning more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Sacramento and another huge fire near Yosemite National Park a little farther to the southeast. Firefighters made significant process against the Mendocino Complex for the first time Wednesday but said the blazes will likely continue through September.