The haze in our sky was smoke particles but not really from local fires. Dozens of fires across the region and others from hundreds and hundreds of miles away have put the smell of smoke in the air. Across the southeast, NOAA satellite confirms numerous small fires. Most of these are likely prescribed burns or even trash burning. The light northerly wind has pushed that smoke to the coasts. On a windier day with a south wind, we along the coast would not notice.
Smoke is also arriving partially from the wildfires in the western US and in British Columbia, Canada. While most of that is being blown by wind thousands of miles to the east, a portion of it is carried by upper level winds to the southeast, where it then descends nearer to the ground.
Afternoon air quality maps from the EPA show this. For most people it’s not an issue but for others, it may affect your eyes and breathing.
Other things are carried thousands of miles by the wind. Consider the dust from the Sahara desert- in early August, a large plume of dust moved westward to the Caribbean. We see this many times in hurricane season.