Code Orange air quality alert remains

The Charlotte area is under a Code Orange Air Quality Index as wildfires continue to burn thousands of acres in western North Carolina.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mecklenburg County issued a "Code Orange" forecast for Friday regarding air quality in the area, according to the county's Twitter account.

According to the N.C. Air Quality Forecast Center, Code Orange, is a considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as the "elderly and the very young."

The forecast seems to show a promising sign, as EPA issued a Code Red for Charlotte Wednesday morning. According to the EPA, a code red Air Quality Index indicates that everyone may experience some adverse health effects. NBC Charlotte has the information you need to know when the area's Air Quality Index reaches Code Red.

Local physicians have seen an increase in the number of calls related to respiratory issues since the fires started. 

“The phones have been ringing a lot,” reports Novant Health Family Medicine physician Genevieve Brauning. "With a Code Red it can affect people with no medical problems. Everybody is potentially at risk for symptoms.”

Other Code Orange counties include Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, and Union. Counties at the epicenter of the fires remain under a Code Red AQI. They include Catawba, Alexander, Caldwell, Burke, Cleveland, Rutherford, Polk, and McDowell counties. 

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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