State News

Air pollution from coastal wildfire extends to Triangle

Posted May 11, 2011

— An air pollution advisory extended west from the coast to the Triangle Wednesday as smoke from a Dare County wildfire kept drifting downwind. The advisory extends until 10:15 a.m. Thursday and includes Wake, Durham, Orange and surrounding counties.

A fire in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare and Hyde counties blanketed some parts of the region with heavy smoke and pollution for a second day Wednesday. Poor air quality from the smoke will likely continue overnight and into early Thursday.

The Code Orange advisory warns that residents could experience unhealthy air quality, and especially sensitive groups, such as people with asthma, should avoid or reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

The risk could reach a Code Red in southern Dare, Tyrrell, Martin and Washington counties as well as all of Beaufort, Craven, Green, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico and Pitt counties. The air quality there could be so poor that even healthy people are at risk.

Firefighters and emergency response officials are urging 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.

Reports of haze and the smell of smoke drifted in to the WRAL newsroom from as far away as South Hill, Va.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • delilahk2000 May 11, 2011


  • BurninStick May 11, 2011

    It smells like burning plastic here in Edgecombe too. Thankfully, a wind shift ~2.00p blew it all out of here...for now. Help me understand something. What's with the acrid odor and taste? Do the smoke clouds pick up stuff along the way, like particulates from Weyerhaeuser's stacks, stuff like that?

  • sykesterryb May 11, 2011

    Please let the jet stream or our normal west to east airflow take this noxious air out to sea. Good heavens, this combo of whatever is burning in Dare County has all the fragrance of a tire fire!

  • whatelseisnew May 11, 2011

    Hmmm guess all that carbon will warm the planet. We need to immediately remove all trees, brush, and grass from the entire state so it does not burn and warm the planet.

  • The7thSeal May 11, 2011

    smells like cooked chicken.....

  • tobywilliamson58 May 11, 2011

    Brime it!

  • lma1973 May 11, 2011

    Lets not kid ourselves. This far was started from brime, not peat.

  • fzero May 11, 2011

    Oh well. Might as well break out the marshmellows.

  • akatonitots May 11, 2011

    cwood: I am hoping the wind doesnt shift if it does the fire will jump back across 264 and come right for my house and other that live out here. Not to mention that it will destroy the refuge and so many habitats around here.

  • lma1973 May 11, 2011

    A special thanks to all the firefighters working hard down there. These fars are difficult to enough to put out, just be glad it wasnt a brime far.