Hazy day: Brown blanket of soot hangs over the valley

While looking at a video from the Arizona Department of Transportation of the Interstate 10 mini-stack overnight, you can see the air quality was affected.

It was smoky, hazy and even smelly around 1:30 a.m. Friday.

The haze is actually a combination of fireworks shows, house fires and people who were burning items when they weren't supposed to, as a no burn day was issued for December 31 and January 1.

It wasn't exactly the way to ring in the new year, but that was the situation in the skies over the valley.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued a high pollution advisory for soot in the air.

It was hard to miss -- a brown blanket of soot hanging over the valley.

"I was driving into here and noticed all those signs on the road that say no burn day," said Linda Ly, a hiker.

The problem: some people used their fireplaces anyway. Throw in fireworks and other particles in the air and it all adds up to a mess. But that didn't stop people who wanted to hit the trails.

"Well, my New Year's resolution was to be more active, so that is why I am active," said Jeanne Ngo.

Was it a little difficult on a day when the air is this bad?

"I guess in terms of breathing, yes. But it is the motivation to go through the year," replied Ngo.

ADEQ's advice: children and adults with any breathing problems should stay inside and in general, people should limit their outdoor activity.

Not a pretty picture, but a visitor put it in perspective.

"It is okay. It is not as bad as L.A. We have the valley smog that never leaves us," said Victoria Ly, a hiker.

Remember, it's a no burn day on January 1, so don't start any fires in the fireplace. It's bad for the air we all breathe.

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