Southern Wildfires Leaves Triangle Skies Hazy

Posted May 16, 2007

— Smoke from wildfires on the Georgia-Florida border invaded North Carolina on Wednesday, putting a pungent odor in the air in the Triangle and bringing numerous calls to 911 centers.

The National Weather Service said 35-40 mph winds were carrying the smoke from the fire that has burned 390 square miles.

Forecasters advised emergency management personnel, but firefighters still had to try to separate the general smoky condition from any local incidents that needed their attention.

People who have asthma or other breathing problems were advised to limit outdoor activity.

In Charlotte, fire Capt. Rob Brisley urged residents not to call 911 just to report smoke and to use the emergency phone line only if they actually see smoke or flames coming from a structure.

About 50 miles northeast of Charlotte, emergency dispatchers in Davidson County said they had been "overwhelmed" by callers reporting the smoke.

It also created a haze more than 100 miles to the north in Orange County, where emergency dispatchers reported multiple calls as well as in Chatham County.

Firefighters who were battling the wildfire said Tuesday evening that they were making progress against the fire, but it was not yet contained.


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  • yukonjohn3 May 17, 2007

    Its kind of funny seeing these posts. This is a common occurance in the west. Sometimes it is as bad as it is down on I-10. Sometimes when we are on big fires in Alaska that have to be resupplied and fought by can be smoked in for days on end. We then use rivers as highways to fight the fires. Our fires are the size of the ones in Ga/Fl. We had one in 1996 that was 620,000 acres when we left for the winter!! Hope it clears up soon.

  • May 16, 2007

    i live/work in North Raleigh, didn't notice a thing all day, and now that I've heard ya'll talk about it.... nope still nothin'

  • kwik May 16, 2007

    Walked out of work today in Henderson about 4pm and thought, "some dummy is burning trash with the wind blowing so hard". Glad to know it wasn't a "dummy". Hope they get the fires under control in Georgia. My heart goes out to these people.

  • vette212 May 16, 2007

    "There's a lot of marijuana fields being grown down there in that part of Georgia, I hope we all don't get silly being outside!"

    Hey wait a miniute. Does this mean when I get drug tested, I might come up positive? We have random drug test at work.

  • CG12 May 16, 2007

    I'm right outside RTP (near Kemps Seafood) and I have been looking out my window all day. Nothing going on at lunch time...just looked outside my office window and saw it looking overcast. I came to WRAL to see if the rain/thunder storms were coming already and saw this article.

    Of couse I had to go investigate the smell - its a bit stinky, not too bad though.

  • tiger-rag May 16, 2007

    I noticed it last night around midnight in Durham, but not today. Who knows.

  • raeannsimpson May 16, 2007

    I've been out and about in most of Sampson County all day today. No smell or sign of smoke here at all. That's really strange since you all seem to see or smell it everywhere else.

  • stndup4vctms May 16, 2007

    I came out of work in Louisburg and smelt it thinking some crazy person was burning something nearby and then drove to Wake Forest and got out of the car and could smell it again and thought, man, somebody over here has lost it too. Glad to know that it isn't some nut here burning but I am sorry for those any closer to it.

  • erggggg May 16, 2007

    so THIS is what LA looks like.

  • TheBullCity May 16, 2007

    Yea, I don't quite understand why you would report this to 911.