The air quality forecast for the Knoxville area on Tuesday is again unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The air quality in the Knoxville area at about 8 a.m. Tuesday was unhealthy due to particle pollution, according to AirNow.gov. That means people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy for sensitive groups means the general public is not likely to be affected, but people with lung disease, older adults, and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, while people with heart and lung disease, older adults, and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
The poor air quality in the the Knoxville and Chattanooga metropolitan areas, as well as in the Great Smoky Mountains, is due to smoke from wildfires.
“Everyone should limit prolonged outdoor exertion,” the National Weather Service in Morristown said Tuesday.
There was also an air quality alert for the Knoxville area on Monday.
On Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam issued a proclamation declaring a regional ban on burning in 51 counties in response to the ongoing drought and destructive wildfires throughout Middle and East Tennessee. All eastern Tennessee counties are now under the burn ban. The counties include Anderson, Campbell, Loudon, Knox, Morgan, Roane, Scott, and Union. (See this story for more information.)
On Monday, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry was fighting 67 wildfires across nearly 16,000 acres in the Cumberland and East Tennessee districts.
One of the largest active fires in the area was a 2,432-acre fire on White Oak Circle in Morgan County. That fire was caused by arson, according to the Division of Forestry. That fire appears to be northwest of Harriman and Oakdale.
As previously reported by Oak Ridge Today, there have been six fires in north Anderson County that have burned more than 4,200 acres. Five of those fires were determined to be arsons.
State and local officials have scheduled a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Del Rio, east of Newport near the Tennessee-North Carolina border, to discuss the wildfires in East Tennessee
“Representatives from several agencies will address efforts to preserve property and protect lives during the wildfire fight,” a media advisory said. “We will also share new information regarding the ongoing arson investigations.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See the AirNow.gov forecast here.
See the National Weather Service in Morristown website here.
See a fire location map by the Tennessee Division of Forestry here.
See a list of active fires here.
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