USA — North Carolina air quality officials issued an advisory for Eastern North Carolina Tuesday afternoon about continued smoke drifting downward from a Dare County wildfire.
It advises that residents from the coast to the Triangle could experience unhealthy air quality and that sensitive individuals should avoid or reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Firefighters and emergency response officials ask people who see and smell smoke not to call 911 unless they see a fire, a smoke column, or wish to report someone burning irresponsibly in their area.
The fire in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare and Hyde counties has been blanketing coastal communities intermittently with high levels of particle pollution since Thursday. Smoke is expected to continue drifting inland from its center about 20 miles south of Manns Harbor for the next few days as firefighters continue attempts to contain the fire.
The N.C. Division of Air Quality officials said high particle levels can impair breathing and aggravate symptoms in people with respiratory problems, and irritate the lungs in healthy individuals. People with chronic lung ailments and children should reduce physical exertion and outdoor activity.
A Code Red is in effect in Dare and eastern Hyde counties. A Code Orange is in effect in Craven, Pamlico, Jones, Carteret, and Beaufort counties and may occur in Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Johnston, Lenoir, Martin, Pitt, Sampson, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wayne counties. Some particulate from the smoke has been measured as far west as Raleigh.