Much of US under ominous, hazy sky as smoke spreads from Western wildfires

At least 40 million Americans are experiencing poor air quality.

July 20, 2021, 12:52 PM

Much of the United States is under an ominous, hazy sky on Tuesday as smoke spreads from the massive wildfires in the West.

At least 40 million Americans are experiencing poor air quality.

The hazy skies have even reached New York City.

PHOTO: The Statue of Liberty sits behind a cloud of haze on July 20, 2021 in New York City.
The Statue of Liberty sits behind a cloud of haze on July 20, 2021 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

These New York City photos show the difference between Tuesday and a typical sunny day.

PHOTO: View of New York City (top) on July 20, 2021 from northern New Jersey. A large part of the country, including the northeast, is seeing smoky/hazy skies from wildfire smoke from Canada and the Western U.S.
View of New York City (top) on July 20, 2021 from northern New Jersey. A large part of the country, including the northeast, is seeing smoky/hazy skies from wildfire smoke from Canada and the Western U.S.
Sam Wnek/ABC

At least 80 large wildfires are burning in 13 states, mostly in the West.

Oregon's Bootleg Fire has exploded to over 388,000 acres and is 30% contained as of Tuesday morning.

PHOTO: A log burns in an area hit hard by the Bootleg Fire near Bly Oregon, July 19, 2021.
A log burns in an area hit hard by the Bootleg Fire near Bly Oregon, July 19, 2021.
David Ryder/Reuters

"Fighting this fire is a marathon, not a sprint," said Rob Allen, incident commander for PNW Incident Management Team 2.

The Dixie Fire in Butte County, California, has spread to over 59,000 acres and is just 15% contained.

PHOTO: Smoke clouds rise as the Dixie Fire grows to over 18,000 acres in Plumas National Forest, Calif., July 18, 2021.
Smoke clouds rise as the Dixie Fire grows to over 18,000 acres in Plumas National Forest, Calif., July 18, 2021.
David Swanson/Reuters

The danger for wildfires will remain high on Tuesday due to low humidity, high wind gusts and the potential of dry lightning.

Fire danger will continue Wednesday before subsiding some on Thursday. But with the West enduring a widespread drought, new fires could easily spread at any time.

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