The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources has issued a code orange air quality action day for Watauga and Avery County due to fine particulates until 12am Friday. The alert is the the first since November 2013, when smoke in Burke County shifted into the High Country from fires in the Linville Gorge.
According to the NCDENR's facebook page:
“Elevated fine particulate (PM2.5) readings are being observed at the Marion and Boone air monitoring sites this morning due to smoke associated with two wildfires burning in the Pisgah National Forest. While cloud cover and late-day showers and thunderstorms should help to temper the fires' progress, Code Orange conditions for fine particulates will be likely today across the Hickory forecast region (Catawba, Alexander, Burke and Caldwell counties), as well as Watauga, Avery, and McDowell counties today. Code Orange air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups. All children, active adults, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor activity today.”
For more information visit https://xapps.ncdenr.org/aq/ForecastCenter