The North Carolina Air Quality Forecast Center has added the High Country to the Code Red status for Monday.
In a social media posting NCAQFC stated:
Based on monitoring data and calls we have been receiving this morning we have decided to update the air quality forecast for western NC this morning. Changes include raising the air quality forecast to Code Purple for Graham, Macon, Cherokee and Clay Counties, as well as adding Ashe, Watauga, Avery and Mitchell Counties to the Code Red already in place.
Smoke today will largely remain in place — a brief period of lighter smoke make occur during the afternoon — before smoke becomes heavy and thick again rapidly after sunset.
If you can see heavy haze and smell smoke, then air quality is not good and you should limit your outdoor activities. This is particularly important for sensitive groups – that is, children, older adults, people with heart and respiratory problems, and those who work and exercise outside for extended times.