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Air Quality Alert issued in Tennessee due to smoke from Oregon wildfire

Officials urge individuals who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and heart disease to exercise caution and limit their time outdoors.
Bootleg fire in Oregon.
Bootleg fire in Oregon.(KGW News / YouTube)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:04 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency issued an Air Quality Alert for parts of Tennessee due to wildfire smoke from the western U.S.

Is the sky hazy where you live? Blame it on conditions thousands of miles away! Meteorologist Ben Cathey is live to explain why there's smoke in East Tennessee, where it's coming from, and what it means for the quality of air you breathe

Posted by WVLT on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Officials urge individuals who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and heart disease to exercise caution and limit their time outdoors.

The nation’s largest wildfire, Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, grew to 616 square miles Wednesday. The blaze is nearly one-third contained, according to officials.

“We’re seeing lots of fires producing a tremendous amount of smoke, and ... by the time that smoke gets to the eastern portion of the country where it’s usually thinned out, there’s just so much smoke in the atmosphere from all these fires that it’s still pretty thick,” said David Lawrence, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “Over the last two years, we’ve seen this phenomenon.”

Breathing in smoke can affect you right away, causing:

  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Asthma attacks
  • Stinging eyes
  • Scratchy throat

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