Thursday, 22 July 2021 13:37

Richmond County under air quality alert

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The smoky haze in the air is from wildfires in the western part of the country and has triggered an air quality alert for most of North Carolina. The smoky haze in the air is from wildfires in the western part of the country and has triggered an air quality alert for most of North Carolina. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Most of North Carolina, including Richmond County, is under an air quality alert until midnight.


The smoky haze is coming from wildfires on the West Coast, according to County Ranger Jack Franklin with the N.C. Forest Service. He added that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission also has a burn in the Sandhills Game Lands.

“The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources in Raleigh has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Fine Particulates,” reads the alert from the National Weather Service. “An Air Quality Action Day means that Fine Particulates concentrations within the region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards.”

Code Orange means the air is “unhealthy for sensitive groups, and means individuals with respiratory and/or heart ailments, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.”

The southeast coast is under Code Yellow.

According to the DAQ, visibility in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain is reduced to 5-7 miles.

A previous alert was issued Wednesday afternoon.

Conditions are expected to improve on Friday and through the weekend.