A view looking south to a very smoky downtown Walla Walla shows the haze across the landscape from the upper reaches of the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center on Wednesday afternoon. The Washington State Department of Ecology has continued its Air Quality Alert through noon Friday.

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As the red sun rises, a European starling joins another on top of a light post near Walla Walla Community College this morning. The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Air Quality Alert remains in effect until noon Friday.