By Lemor Abrams

Sacramento (CBS13) — As firefighters make progress containing the deadly Camp Fire, hazardous haze has continued to choke much of Northern California, Friday. With kids out of school, parents weren’t the only ones packing malls to escape the bad air.

“It’s horrible. It’s so thick you can smell the smoke. Even looking out my window, I don’t wanna go out!” said Carolyn Speed as she shopped at the Arden Mall.

Even with Arden Mall’s filtered air, some shoppers kept their masks on while shopping. For others, the elevated particulate matter outside cranked up stress levels.

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“I’m pretty stressed out … I canceled my plans this weekend. I was gonna go out of town,” Topaz Cuddy said.

That’s because Cuddy’s midterms are coming up, but school is out where she goes, at UC Davis. It’s just one of many local colleges that canceled classes due to the smoke.

Arden Fair officials reported a 20 percent spike in foot traffic from the same time last year.

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At Cal Expo, holiday cheer filled the air at the annual Harvest Festival.

“One of them is more affected by it so I think being home was a good idea,” said Kim Stowell, referring to her daughter.

Locals escaping from the poor air quality got to explore craft stands, taste gourmet foods, and visit with Mama Claus and Eddie the Elf.

The Harvest Festival runs all weekend long at Cal Expo. For more information, visit their website.