1. Various of kids playing indoors at YMCA Sacramento day camp (YMCA says parents signed waivers allowing kids to be on camera)
2. Various of playground equipment not being used
3. SOUNDITE (English) Jay Lowden, president of YMCA of Superior California
"The wildfires and the air quality and lack of good air quality has impacted our camps. We have to keep the kids inside more. A lot of the outdoor physical activities we've had to curtail and cut back on. And it's frustrating because the kids are spending more time inside. They get a little bit of cabin fever."
4. California State Capitol building in hazy air
5. Sacramento River and skyline in hazy air
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Lori Kobza, spokeswoman, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
"We're just most concerned right now with the wildfire smoke and the particulate matter. So we do encourage people to stay indoors and limit their outside activities."
7. Screen showing air quality index
8. Kobza on computer showing air quality map
9. Screen showing air quality map of Sacrament region
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Lori Kobza, spokeswoman, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
"Now the Mendocino Complex Fires right now are so huge are burning over 300,000 acres and they are contributing the majority of the smoke. Right now however we are still seeing impacts from the Carr Fire, which is burning up near Redding and the Ferguson Fire which is burning in the Yosemite Valley area."
11. Various of kids playing indoors at YMCA day camp
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Braylin Sligar, YMCA camp director
"So air quality wise, so it limits our outdoor time which is hard during summer because it's all about being outdoors and using the outdoors to have fun and to play. So we've had to incorporate a lot more indoor activities in developing our program to accommodate the weather."
13. Boys playing basketball in gym
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Sean Nolasco, 11, YMCA day camper
"It's a very good idea to have a stay indoors because sometimes the pollution can make us sick and stuff."
Headline: Ack! Distant fires leave California's capital city in a haze
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.
It's forced summer campers to stay inside, obscured normally bright skylines and left 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 Sierra Nevada mountain range and nearly every major population center in between has suffered air quality considered dangerous for children, the elderly and people with asthma.
Winds often blow smoky air around California during intense fires, 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.
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.
Wednesday marked the Sacramento region's 13th straight "Spare the Air" day, when people are encouraged not to drive and add further pollutants to the air _ the longest stretch since at least 2001. A similar warning is effect in the San Francisco Bay Area, and air quality experts in California's Central Valley and areas southeast of Los Angeles are warning residents to limit outdoor exposure because of wildfires there.
A day earlier, dozens of summer campers sat inside watching a movie at a Sacramento YMCA.
"Normally that doesn't happen on a regular day at camp," said Jay Lowden, president of the YMCA for a nine-county region that serves more than 700 kids weekly at 13 summer camps. His counselors monitor the air quality on a daily basis, and Lowden said he may cancel a planned family camp this weekend in the foothills because of the smoke.
Lori Kobza, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, said it's hard to predict when things will improve because of the unpredictably of the fires and the winds.
Because the city is located in a valley, it's easier for smoky air to get trapped here when high pressure systems blow in, making Sacramento like a smoke-filled bowl that's had a lid placed tightly on top.