As of today, smoke from numerous wildfires in the Southern Appalachian Mountain region continues to spread and affect Savannah’s air. High pressures are also expected to crawl slowly from Georgia to the Carolina coast. The National Weather Service in Charleston, South Carolina issued an Air Quality Alert earlier this week for most of South Carolina and parts of Coastal Georgia. This alert remains in effect for Beaufort, Charleston, Georgetown, Greenville, Pickens and Spartanburg counties.

By definition, an air quality alert means fine particle concentrations in the aforementioned affected regions may reach unhealthy standards, particularly for those vulnerable to particle pollution and respiratory issues.  

The South Carolina DHEC recommends individuals with respiratory health issues limit their time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke’s effect. Individuals should also take precautions to prevent the outdoor smoke from getting inside. Those operating an air conditioner or central heating unit should keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

Experts at the SCAD Health Center said exposure to smoke can aggravate existing respiratory conditions.  They said it is necessary to evaluate symptoms on an individual basis to provide the best advice for care.  Anyone experiencing wheezing, coughing, hoarseness or shortness of breath should call their PCP for an assessment and advice on treatment.  If no PCP is available, NurseOne is available to assess symptoms to see if medical treatment is necessary.  NurseOne can be reached any time of day at 912-350-9355.

For more information about smoke-affected areas near Savannah and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit the EPA’s Air Now site.

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, visit the South Carolina DHEC website.