CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As 44,000 acres continue to burn across North Carolina, the air quality worsened Monday to Code Red or Code Purple across many of the western counties.
The state air quality experts issued the advisories, cautioning the heavy smoke may contain dangerous pollutants.
Code Red means air quality is "unhealthy" and places everyone at risk of feeling the effects.
Code Purple means the air is "very unhealthy" for all groups.
Mom of three Jennifer Hover was happy to hear schools are keeping kids indoors and limiting their outdoor time.
"The smoke is too much on them," Hover says.
One of her sons is asthmatic.
"He actually went to get on the bus this morning and he couldn't stand outside," Hover says. "I actually had to call him back in the house and tell him 'wait til you hear the bus' because he started coughing. He couldn't be outside."
Governor Pat McCrory expressed concern about the 1,600 firefighters on the front lines in these unhealthy conditions.
Crews on the ground agree.
"Dealing with smoke day after day can get somewhat tiresome and can even affect people's health," says Charlie Peek, spokesperson for North Carolina state parks.
There are more than 100 firefighters struggling to gain control of a fire at South Mountains State Park. "They're under tremendous physical strain to begin with. They're trying to deal with this terrain dealing with carrying equipment to and fro."