You don't even have to leave Bend before the effects of the Pole Creek Fire near Sisters are apparent. A sign on the north side of town warned drivers Wednesday morning to turn on their headlights because there's smoke on the roadway.
At the Three Sisters viewpoint on Highway 20, a thick haze took over and ash, falling like snow, was illuminated in my headlights before sunrise.
During wake-up time at fire camp, the smoke was so thick it looked like a heavy layer of fog. The smoke has to take a toll on crews working 16-hour days, but in true firefighter fashion, they refuse to complain about it.
"It's kind of hard to breathe, but it's not too bad," said Hal Benson, a firefighter out of Bakersfield, Calif.
Drivers obeying the warning signs cut through thick smoke on their morning commute to or from Sisters.
"It never lifts out. We haven't had what I would call a clear period, at all," said Sisters resident, Dennis Patterson.
At Sisters Elementary School, it's obvious why the kids are spending recess indoors -- smoke surrounded the playground.
After a week and a half waking up to the sun turned bright orange and blocked by smoke, residents are realizing they can't get away from it.
"The house is full of smoke now," Patterson said. "It had just lingered long enough that now it's just everywhere."
Many are resorting to wearing masks and following officials' advice to keep all windows shut. Some, like the workers at the Dutch Bros. Coffee drive-up, don't have that luxury, so they suffer the consequences.
"I notice I'm coughing a lot more, and I went to the Valley the other day and just getting back in my car, I smell like a smoker now," said employee Danielle Bradley.
Like many, Patterson is glad Sisters is just smoky, not burning.
But the big question as smoke affects everyone in the area is: How long will it last?