Campers making the most of their vacation amid hazy conditions

Smoke impact on campgrounds
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 8:00 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, CT (WFSB) - While the smoke and haze is expected to gradually clear, the conditions haven’t been easy for those spending their vacations camping.

Staffers at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison said some campers packed up and headed home, checking out early because of the smoke.

There are plenty of others who are still there, trying to make the best of it.

“Yesterday you couldn’t smell the clean air, and the day before, and the day before that,” said Rick Cull.

Like many who’ve sat around a campfire, Cull knows that smokey smell all too well.

But this week the haze hanging over Hammonasset from the Canadian wildfires proved to be too much.

“With the smoke and everything, today’s been the first day in the last three days, I’ve been inside the camper,” said Cull, of New Hartford. “It just killed me, had to go back in and I stayed in the trailer, it was nasty.”

It’s not how many envisioned their vacation, especially when it centers around enjoying time in the great outdoors.

But mother nature had other plans.

“For me it hasn’t been bad, but I haven’t been bothered by the smoke, but she does,” said Gil Theriault of Bristol.

Gil and his wife Terri, who deals with asthma, first summered at Hammonasset 56 years ago.

“It feels a little better today,” Terri said. “Make the best of it, certainly, because it’s a lovely place and beautiful campsite.”

That includes spending time with her cousin and his wife, who came down from Bristol to visit.

But even with that poor air quality, plenty decided to just deal with it, be it a bike ride or a leisurely walk, while waiting for the weather to improve.

Rick Cull/New Hartford

“At least now the air is moving, you can smell the clean air,” said Cull. “Hopefully it will break.”

Eyewitness News also saw people on with masks.

The Department of Public Health said an N95 mask is effective at filtering out smoke, and if you’re going to be outdoors a bit, is a good option to use until the air quality improves.