CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has extended a Code Orange Air Quality Alert as wildfires continue to produce smoke over the Lowcountry.
The alert is in effect until midnight on Friday morning for Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, and Colleton Counties. It was previously set to expire at midnight Thursday morning.
Numerous large wildfires within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region are producing large smoke plumes creating unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.
Smoke from the fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system as well as aggravate or worsen chronic heart and lung diseases, officials say.
DHEC recommends people with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke and take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Those measures include keeping windows and doors closed and keeping fresh-air intakes closed and filters clean on air conditioning and central heating units.
People near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely.
A Code Orange air quality alert means fine particulate concentrations in the smoke may approach or exceed unhealthy levels for sensitive adults. During a Code Orange alert, active children and adults and people with a respiratory disease like asthma should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.