BOISE – Sunday, residents of the Treasure Valley woke up to smoke and haze.
If you were out by the airport, the smoke was especially bad, but things weren't too great in the higher elevations like the Foothills.
Nearby wildfires rolling into Idaho from neighboring states to the west, such as Nevada, Oregon and even California are to blame for the thick blanket of smoke.
“There is a lot of wildfire activity going on and that smoke just pretty much made it here,” said Mike Toole with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality in Boise.
Toole said Sunday the DEQ was forced to raise the health concern level, and it could be days before the smoke floats out of the valley.
“We joke it’s the perfect mixing bowl because we do, we have the Owyhees on one end, we have the Foothills on the other and we have the lower elevation in the middle," said Toole. "And when you get stagnant conditions, no wind, no real movement, everything just kind of sits on top of the whole area, the whole Treasure Valley."
While most who are sensitive to a “moderate” air quality rating know to stay inside, there were some brave souls out recreating Sunday.
Sharon Saskett took her daughter's dog Tater for a walk at Camel's Back Park.
“Not only do you get it visually, but you get it in your lungs and maybe just shorten of breath,” explained Saskett.
Even after her short walk, she said she felt impacted by the dense layer of smoke, and believes so did Tater
“You know, it just seems harder to breathe,” she said. “I am sure it's affecting Tater.”
Saskett suffers from asthma, but believes even those that don’t suffer from respiratory problems would also feel discomfort in the smoky air.
“I can't see why this wouldn't be hard for everybody to breath actually," she said. "It doesn't matter if you have asthma or not."
Up in the Boise Foothills, things were unusually quiet for a typical Boise summer day. However KTVB did find Edina Macic taking advantage of her day by walking up the road to Table Rock.
“Today is just not a great day actually,” said Macic. “I actually have allergies, so doing this, I literally feel like I have to cough every two seconds."
However, as she made her way into the smog-like conditions to the top of Table Rock, Macic admitted the air quality could be worse.
‘This is okay," she said. "It will still get me out and going, but if it probably got a little worse, I mean I would probably go into the gym and do a few miles on the treadmill."
Toole said the Air Quality Index moved up to “Orange” on Sunday. It’s an unexpected increase from the cross-state wildfire smoke coming into the valley, moving air quality into the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category.
He said this has happened already several times this week, something that doesn’t typically happen on a regular basis.
It is a concerning sign of what kind of fire season we are experiencing in Idaho this year.