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Public-health officials continued to warn of unhealthy air across many parts of the Pacific Northwest as wildfires sent thick smoke across the region, and the National Weather Service issued an air quality alert for much of Central and Eastern Washington and northern Idaho through Wednesday.

According to Environment Canada, local smoke levels will vary depending on wind direction and fire characteristics, but improvement is not expected until the weather changes significantly across the province.

According to the Washington Smoke Information blog, there is "no significant smoke clearing expected before Wednesday for most of the state".

Air quality in Spokane has tipped into the "very unhealthy" range, and regional air quality monitors caution anyone, regardless of health, from exerting themselves out of doors.

At 7:30 a.m., eight monitoring sites across the state registered good air quality, one as close as Kennewick.

For those wanting a break from the smoke, Saxton said indoor spaces with air conditioning tend to have the cleanest air.

Late last week, the smoke reached into the neighbouring provinces of Alberta and affected air quality into parts Saskatchewan and even Winnipeg, Manitoba, a city about 2,000km (1,240 miles) to the east.

Air quality has fluctuated Monday from moderate to unhealthy.

More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland today as almost 600 wildfires continue to rage across British Columbia.

Environmental regulators also issued a pollution advisory for southwest Washington, Portland and much of the Willamette Valley. A wider air quality warning is forecast to remain in effect through at least noon Tuesday.