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Smoky skies to persist through Saturday

Wildfire smoke has turned the region’s blue bird skies into shades of brown and orange.

The smoke will result in brilliant sunrises and sunsets.

On Wednesday, air quality in Spokane went to the unhealthy category for persons with lung or other health problems.

By afternoon, the air quality improved to moderately polluted.

Numerous fires are burning in Washington, Idaho, western Montana and Oregon.

Some of the smoke plumes were evident on visible satellite images.

The entire region is going to see an increase in temperatures through the weekend with highs running in the upper 90s to triple digits.

Coeur d’Alene will be several degrees cooler with highs in the middle 90s on Thursday and Friday and then low 90s on Saturday and Sunday.

Smoke remains in the forecast through Saturday.

The mountains might offer the only escape with highs in the upper 70s at an elevation of 5,200 feet in North Idaho.

A heat advisory is in effect on Thursday and Friday for the western Columbia Basin, Yakima Valley and southeast Washington.

An air quality alert is in effect for all of Eastern Washington and North Idaho through noon on Saturday.

Spokane has now gone 35 days without any measurable rain.