Charlotte air quality expected to reach 'Code Red'

Major concerns about the air we breathe as wildfires leave the Charlotte area in a dangerous haze.

LAKE LURE, N.C.  (WCNC) -- Several fires are burning across North Carolina, and beyond the evacuations and mass destruction they’ve caused, your health could suffer too, even from hundreds of miles away.

"It’s been a real hard push for a lot of folks here, they’ve been working really hard, this fire has burned around the clock," Party Rock fire spokesperson Jim Schwarber said Tuesday.

The fire has grown to almost 4,500 acres. Between all the fires burning in the state, 45,000 acres combined have burned. Emergency crews are working around the clock to contain the flames.

"We expect the fire will spread more so were taking precautions for that," Schwarber said.

With not a drop of rain in the forecast, most of the fires are only growing.

"The wind is coming down the mountains and blowing all the smoke into the charlotte area," said Terry Lansdell with nonprofit Clean Air Carolina.

Lansdell says the wildfires are now tainting the air across the state.  

"We’re seeing that level be high enough to affect everyone at every level," he said.

By Wednesday, Charlotte is expected to enter the red zone for air quality monitored by the EPA, meaning it’s dangerous for anyone to breathe.

"It's such a fine matter that the hairs in our nose don’t capture it," Lansdell explained. "It goes to the deepest recess of our lungs and stays there."

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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