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Charlotte Air Quality Worsens Due to Raging Wildfires

By Christie Abagon , Nov 18, 2016 04:54 PM EST
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Charlotte, North Carolina residents woke up on Wednesday to a foggy haze that burned eyes and throats and set noses running.  Wildfires burning in the mountains are to be blamed.   Charlotte region has been placed under a Code Red air quality warning for high level particulate matter.  As of this writing, the fire is only 30% contained. 

Students Were Advised To Stay Indoors For As Long As Possible

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools sent out this advisory to their students: "In response to this (air quality) alert, we are advising that students be kept inside the building as much as possible today."  The school also limited outdoor practices and workouts for all teams to 45 minutes, and school trainers had to be present and required that all coaches and athletes be closely monitored, especially those with a known respiratory condition.

All Burning Permits Were Cancelled And A Burn Ban Was Put In Place

The Charlotte Fire Department cancelled all burning permits Wednesday afternoon and the Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal's Office is prohibiting all outdoor burning, including recreational fires, until further notice and burn bans have been put in place across the region.  "Our area is in a crisis situation due to lack of rainfall," CFD officials tweeted. "Potential for a fire in woods, grass and fields is extremely high."

Fire Continues To Burn Making Smoke Condition Worse

Gov. Pat McCrory that there is already a a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individuals who contributed to the fires.  "We believe they're man made, but we don't know if they're intentional, I hope it was accidental," McCrory said.

He also said this week that the state could be dealing with wildfire problems into the spring.  So far, 44,000 acreshave been consumed.  "People just expect this to be dealt with immediately, but God doesn't do that," McCrory said. "This is going to be a very difficult challenge."

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