Skip to content

Southeast Wildfires Air Quality Updates

December 7, 2016 Update

Several rounds of heavy rain and high humidity over the past week have greatly reduced fire activity over the Southern Appalachians.  In addition, although minimal smoldering may continue for some time, the South Carolina Forestry Commission has declared Pinnacle Mountain 100% contained.  Due to the abundant rainfall (several inches) recently and reduced fire activity in the high elevations, DHEC will suspend official fine particle (PM2.5) pollution forecasting.  DHEC's air quality meteorologists will continue to monitor the day-to-day weather conditions and any significant remnant wildfires and smoke plumes related to these wildfires.  DHEC meteorologists will resume PM2.5 forecasting and send out air quality alerts if necessary, but unhealthy levels of particle pollution related to wildfire activity is not expected for the foreseeable future.


December 2 Afternoon Update

NO AIR QUALITY ALERTS WILL BE ISSUED IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3RD THROUGH MONDAY, DECEMBER 5

A code yellow (moderate) air quality forecast will be issued for Greenville and Pickens counties through Monday.

Today's Air Quality Conditions: Fine particulate concentrations remain mostly in the green category today (Friday).  With the two to four inches of rain that fell over the Southern Appalachians early in the week, it appears that the wildfire activity has quickly diminished and fire hotspots have been reduced significantly.  There has been no evidence of significant smoke from satellite imagery over the last couple of days.  

Saturday-Monday Forecast Discussion:  A large area of high pressure will move through the state on Saturday.  Although winds will be light with moderate trapping expected overnight Friday night, smoke from any remnant hot spots will likely reside in the immediate vicinity of Pinnacle Mountain.  Moisture and clouds will increase on Saturday as the next weather system moves in from the west.  Sunday and Monday will feature cloudy and wet conditions with another inch to two inches of rain to help with the ongoing firefighting efforts.  Due to the increase in moisture and waning fire activity, we are not expecting significant problems with smoke through Monday.  We'll continue with a code yellow in Greenville and Pickens counties from any residual fire activity that continues in that area, but code green air quality is expected elsewhere in the state.


December 1 Afternoon Update

NO AIR QUALITY ALERTS WILL BE ISSUED IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2

A CODE YELLOW (moderate) air quality forecast will be issued for Oconee, Anderson, Greenville, Pickens, and Spartanburg Counties through midnight Friday night. Air quality will be worst near and immediately downwind of any active wildfires. 

Forecast Discussion:  

For today (Thursday), fine particulate matter concentrations are likely to peak in the CODE GREEN category for most areas of the state with a small area of CODE YELLOW concentrations in close proximity to (and mainly east of) the Pinnacle Mountain fires.

On Friday, winds will be from the northwest or west for most of the day with fair to good ventilation rates.  If there are still any remaining hot spots where smoke may be expected in the immediate vicinity, the only exceedances to the fine particulate matter standard (CODE ORANGE) should be anticipated in the immediate vicinity of those hot spots on Friday.  Expect CODE YELLOW (moderate) conditions in Oconee, Anderson, Greenville, Pickens, and Spartanburg Counties (portions of which will be directly downwind of the Pinnacle Mountain fire or fires in extreme northeast Georgia).  The remainder of the state should stay at CODE GREEN for fine particulate matter concentrations.


November 30 Afternoon Update

NO AIR QUALITY ALERTS WILL BE ISSUED IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1ST

A CODE YELLOW (moderate) air quality forecast will be issued for Oconee, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union and Laurens Counties through midnight Thursday night. Air quality will be worst near and immediately downwind of any active wildfires. 

Forecast Discussion: For today (Wednesday), fine particulate matter concentrations are likely to peak in the CODE GREEN category for most areas of the state with a small area of CODE YELLOW concentrations in close proximity to (and northeast of) the Pinnacle Mountain fires.  Another cold front is approaching South Carolina and a band of showers and thunderstorms stretches along the Appalachian Mountains, which should greatly help in the firefighting effort in the southern part of the mountain chain.  This cold front should reach South Carolina by this evening, bringing the shower and thundershower activity to the Palmetto State.  By tomorrow (Thursday), winds should shift and become more westerly for most of the day, as the front should clear South Carolina by Thursday morning, with decreasing cloudiness and good ventilation rates.  If there are still any remaining hot spots where smoke may be expected in the immediate vicinity, the only exceedances to the fine particulate matter standard (CODE ORANGE) should be anticipated in the immediate vicinity of those hot spots on Thursday.  Expect CODE YELLOW (moderate) in Oconee, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union and Laurens Counties, while the remainder of the state should stay at CODE GREEN for fine particulate matter concentrations.


November 29 Afternoon Update

NO AIR QUALITY ALERTS WILL BE ISSUED IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH

A code YELLOW (moderate) air quality forecast will be issued for Cherokee, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg, and York counties through midnight Wednesday night. Air quality will be worst near and immediately downwind of active wildfires.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Tuesday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the code Green category for most areas of the state with a small area of code yellow concentrations in close proximity to (and northeast of) the Pinnacle Mountain fires.  A cold front is draped along the Appalachians and will likely dissolve in place throughout the day, but not before bringing some showers to the area which should help fire fighting efforts. Another front will work its way toward the southeast U.S. during the day on Wednesday, and should reach South Carolina by the evening. This will help winds to shift late Wednesday and become more southwesterly. Showers should move into the Upstate ahead of this front and will hopefully contribute to the fire fighting efforts as well. These factors should allow for decent smoke dispersion and ventilation rates for most of the day.  Although some smoke is still expected in the immediate vicinity of the fires, the only exceedances to the fine particulate standard (CODE ORANGE) are anticipated in the immediate vicinity of wildfires on Wednesday.  Elsewhere across the state, expect code yellow (moderate) in Cherokee, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg, and York counties, while the remainder of the state should stay code Green for fine particulate concentrations.


November 28 Afternoon Update

AN AIR QUALITY ALERT WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR NORTHERN GREENVILLE AND NORTHERN PICKENS COUNTIES THROUGH TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH

Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert will be continued for northern Greenville and northern Pickens County through midnight Tuesday night.  An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Monday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the code Green category for most areas of the state with a small area of code ORANGE concentrations in close proximity to (and north of) the Pinnacle Mountain fires.  A cold front is draped along the Mississippi valley and will continue its trek eastward toward the southeast U.S. This will help winds to shift overnight and become southerly. Showers should move into the Upstate on Tuesday and will hopefully contribute to the fire fighting efforts around the fires. This, plus a steady southerly wind will allow for good smoke dispersion and ventilation rates.  Although some smoke is still expected in the immediate vicinity of the fires, the only exceedances to the fine particulate standard (CODE ORANGE) are anticipated in northeast Pickens and northern Greenville counties on Tuesday.  Elsewhere across the state, expect code Green fine particulate concentrations.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 27 Afternoon Update

AN AIR QUALITY ALERT WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR NORTHERN GREENVILLE AND NORTHERN PICKENS COUNTIES ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH

An Air Quality Alert (for fine particulates) will be in effect for some of the Upstate of South Carolina, effective through midnight Monday night. The alert will be for northern Greenville and northern Pickens Counties. An air quality alert means that the fine particulate matter concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina on Monday: Northern Greenville and northern Pickens.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Sunday), fine particulate matter concentrations are likely to peak in the Code Yellow category for most areas of the state with an area of Code ORANGE concentrations likely in close proximity to, and south of, the Pinnacle Mountain fires. The center of the surface high pressure is currently over the Carolinas and it is forecast to move east-northeastward on Monday, allowing southeasterly to southerly winds to move the smoke plumes away from South Carolina. A frontal system should move into the southern Appalachians late Monday, providing a slight chance for rain in the Upstate of South Carolina. Ventilation rates in comparison to Sunday will be better for Monday for most of the Upstate, with the smoke pluming concentrated near the fires at Pinnacle Mountain near the SC/NC state line. Elsewhere across the state, expect Code Yellow conditions for fine particulate matter concentrations.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee). These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated. Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Keep windows and doors closed. If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 26 Afternoon Update

AN AIR QUALITY ALERT WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR ANDERSON, GREENVILLE, PICKENS AND OCONEE COUNTIES ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH

An Air Quality Alert (for fine particulates) will be in effect for some of the Upstate of South Carolina, effective through midnight Saturday night. The alert will be for Anderson, Greenville, Pickens and Oconee Counties. An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina on Sunday: Anderson, Greenville, Pickens and Oconee.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Saturday), fine particulate matter concentrations are likely to peak in the Code Yellow category for most areas of the state with an area of Code ORANGE concentrations likely in close proximity to, and south of, the Pinnacle Mountain fires. The center of the surface high pressure system should move into the southern Appalachians on Sunday, helping to decrease ventilation conditions early in the day. As the high continues moving eastward, winds should start to veer from the northeast and east, but wind speeds should be light, which will inhibit dispersion of the smoke plumes. Ventilation rates in comparison to Saturday will not be as good and a hazy, smoky layer may form over much of the western half of the Upstate. Elsewhere across the state, expect Code Yellow conditions for fine particulate matter concentrations.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee). These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated. Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Keep windows and doors closed. If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 25 Afternoon Update

AN AIR QUALITY ALERT WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR ANDERSON, NORTHERN GREENVILLE, AND PICKENS COUNTIES ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26TH

An Air Quality Alert (for fine particulates) will be in effect for some of the Upstate of South Carolina, effective through midnight Saturday night. The alert will be for Anderson, northern Greenville, and Pickens counties. An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina on Tuesday: Anderson, northern Greenville, and Pickens.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Friday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the code Yellow category for most areas of the state with an area of code ORANGE concentrations likely in close proximity to, and south of, the Pinnacle Mountain fires. A cold front is making its way through the state and will help to clear out fine particulates with its passage. However, winds will likely shift overnight and become northerly and weaken for much of the day on Saturday. High pressure will then settle into the southeastern U.S., and smoke dispersion will decrease. Ventilation rates in comparison to Friday will not be as good and a haze may form over much of the Upstate. Elsewhere across the state, expect code Yellow fine particulate concentrations.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee). These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated. Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Keep windows and doors closed. If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 24 Afternoon Update

AIR QUALITY FORECAST FOR FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25

Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert will be continued for northern Greenville and northern Pickens County through midnight Friday night.  An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Thanksgiving day), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the code Green category for most areas of the state with a small area of code ORANGE concentrations likely in close proximity to (and northeast of) the Pinnacle Mountain fires.  A weak cold front is stretched along the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains.  This front will become rather diffuse overnight as another disturbance aloft moves towards the Southeast US on Friday, bringing another stronger front into the region.  Winds will likely continue to be from the west to southwest direction through much of the day with similar (good) smoke dispersion and smoke ventilation rates in comparison to Thursday.  Although some smoke is expected to pool along the front passing through the Upstate during the late afternoon and early evening hours, the only exceedances to the fine particulate standard (CODE ORANGE) are anticipated in northeast Pickens and northern Greenville counties on Friday.  Elsewhere across the state, expect code upper Green to low Yellow fine particulate concentrations.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 23 Afternoon Update

AIR QUALITY FORECAST FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24th

Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert will be continued for northern Greenville and northern Pickens County through midnight Thursday night.  An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Wednesday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the code Green category for most areas of the state with areas of code ORANGE along the NC/SC border in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fire region.  High pressure will move east allowing a weak cold front to pass through the Upstate Thursday morning.  There will be just a slight chance of showers near the fire late Wednesday night into Thursday morning.   Light and variable winds Thursday morning will increase during the day but remain generally less than 10 mph from the southwest.  Thus, we expect only weak to moderate dispersion of the smoke from Pinnacle Mountain.  Expect continued code ORANGE fine particulate levels in northeast Pickens and northwest Greenville counties, along and north of State Hwy 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway), in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fires.  Elsewhere across the state, expect code Green/Yellow fine particulate concentrations.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 22 Afternoon Update

AIR QUALITY FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD

Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert will be continued for northern Greenville and northern Pickens County through midnight Wednesday night.  An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

Forecast Discussion: For today (Tuesday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the green category for most areas of the state with areas of ORANGE along the NC/SC border in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fire region.  Dry high pressure will remain in control of the region on Wednesday, but an increase in humidity levels is expected from south to north.  Wind will be rather weak to start the day, but an increase in wind from a southwesterly direction is expected with transport wind speeds of near 20 miles per hour by late afternoon.  Thus, we are expecting rather good dispersion of the smoke from Pinnacle Mountain.  Expect continued code ORANGE fine particulate levels in northeast Pickens and northwest Greenville counties, along and north of State Hwy 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway), in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fires.  Elsewhere across the state, expect green/yellow fine particulate concentrations.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 21 Afternoon Update

THE AIR QUALITY ALERT WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR ANDERSON, GREENVILLE, OCONEE, AND PICKENS COUNTIES ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND

An Air Quality Alert (for fine particulates) remains in effect for much of the Upstate of South Carolina effective through midnight Monday night.  The alert will continue through midnight Tuesday night in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, and Pickens counties.  An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina on Tuesday: Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, and Pickens

Forecast Discussion: For today (Monday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the green category for most areas in the state with scattered areas of ORANGE in the northwestern-most counties of South Carolina.  Smoke has been most dense around Pickens and Anderson counties, and this will likely continue through the late afternoon hours with light northerly wind and very little dispersion keeping particle levels abundant in response to the ongoing fires on Pinnacle Mountain in northeast Pickens County.  High pressure will move over the southern Appalachian Mountains on Tuesday morning.  This will allow winds to subside and particles will sit in the vicinity between I-85 and the NC/SC state line through the early-afternoon hours on Tuesday.  The lack of ventilation and dispersion will keep high concentrations of fine particulate concentrations in place.  Thus, expect CODE ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, and Pickens counties on Tuesday due to light winds and a rather stable atmosphere settling in.  Elsewhere, code green/yellow particulate concentrations are expected.  Improvements to the air quality in the Upstate of SC are expected on Wednesday. 

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/


November 20 Afternoon Update

AIR QUALITY ALERT FOR MOST OF THE UPSTATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2016

An Air Quality Action Day for Fine Particulates has been declared for most of the Upstate of South Carolina. An air quality action day means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina: Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens

Forecast Discussion: For today (Sunday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the yellow category for most areas in the state with isolated areas of ORANGE along the North Carolina/South Carolina state line in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fire region and surrounding areas. The cold front that moved across the state Saturday is well out to sea and northwesterly winds continue through today. The overall air mass is relatively clean with the brisk northwest wind. Overnight, winds should start to die down. For tomorrow (Monday), winds should likely remain brisk from the northwest to north direction early in the day, then start to slacken a bit as the main surface ridge axis moves closer to the Southeast. Most counties in the state should remain in the low-mid YELLOW (or moderate) range for fine particulates. However, the smoke plume at Pinnacle Mountain in northeast Pickens county, and a fire in extreme northeastern Georgia will remain significant concerns to particulate levels nearby the fires. Thus, CODE ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) is expected in most of the Upstate on Monday.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee) and have the potential to increase in size and intensity with the predicted windy and very dry conditions. These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions for sensitive groups where the smoke is most concentrated. Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Keep windows and doors closed. If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.

For additional information about smoke and its health effects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 19 Afternoon Update

AIR QUALITY ALERT FOR MOST OF THE UPSTATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2016

An Air Quality Action Day for Fine Particulates has been declared for most of the Upstate of South Carolina. An air quality action day means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina: Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens

Forecast Discussion: For today (Saturday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the yellow category for most areas in the state with isolated areas of ORANGE along the NC/SC border in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fire region and surrounding areas. A cold front will sweep across the state this morning through mid-day. The overall airmass will continue to be slightly dirty ahead of this front, but strong winds and a rather clean airmass is expected behind the front. Overnight, winds will die down. For tomorrow, winds will likely remain light from the northwest. Most counties in the state should remain in the low-mid YELLOW (or moderate) range for fine particulates. However, the smoke plume at Pinnacle Mountain in northeast Pickens county, and a fire in extreme northeastern Georgia will remain significant concerns to particulate levels nearby the fires. Thus, CODE ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) is expected in most of the Upstate on Sunday.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee) and have the potential to increase in size and intensity with the predicted windy and very dry conditions. These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions for sensitive groups where the smoke is most concentrated. Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Keep windows and doors closed. If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.

For additional information about smoke and its health effects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.


November 18 Afternoon Update

THE AIR QUALITY ALERT WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR GREENVILLE AND PICKENS COUNTIES ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19TH

An Air Quality Alert remains in effect for the immediate coast and high elevations along the North Carolina / South Carolina state line for fine particulates effective through midnight Friday night.  The alert will continue through Saturday in Greenville and Pickens Counties.  An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina on Saturday: Greenville and Pickens

Forecast Discussion: For today (Friday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the yellow category for most areas in the state with isolated areas of ORANGE along the immediate coast and along the NC/SC border in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fire region.  A cold front will sweep across the state on Saturday morning through mid-day.  The overall air mass will continue to be slightly dirty ahead of this front, but strong winds and a rather clean air mass is expected behind the front.  Most counties in the state should remain in the low to mid YELLOW (or moderate) range for fine particulates.  However, the smoke plume at Pinnacle Mountain in northeast Pickens County will remain a significant concern to particulate levels nearby the fire.  Thus, CODE ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) is expected in Pickens and Greenville Counties on Saturday even with excellent vertical mixing and smoke dispersion due to strong winds.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.

Forecast Map for Saturday, November 19, 2016


November 17 Afternoon Update

THE AIR QUALITY ALERT WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR BEAUFORT, CHARLESTON, GEORGETOWN, GREENVILLE, PICKENS, AND SPARTANBURG COUNTIES ON FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18TH

An Air Quality Alert for Fine Particulates has been declared for most of South Carolina through the duration of today (Thursday), and the alert will continue through Friday in Beaufort, Charleston, Georgetown, Greenville, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties on Friday.  An air quality alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina: Beaufort, Charleston, Georgetown, Greenville, Pickens, and Spartanburg

Forecast Discussion: For today (Thursday), fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the mid yellow to ORANGE category for most areas in the western half of the state with isolated areas of RED concentrations along the NC/SC border in close proximity to the Pinnacle Mountain fire region, where there is currently an effort to contain the fire.  High pressure will continue to crawl slowly from Georgia today to the Carolina coast on Friday.  After the sun sets this evening, calm winds and a dry atmosphere will allow another very stable situation to develop near the surface overnight.  The increased stability will keep moderate to unhealthy levels of particulates to be trapped near the surface through the mid-morning hours on Friday.  Thereafter, the atmosphere should mix well enough with better vertical ventilation and a slight increase in transport wind from the southwest to bring slightly cleaner air in and bring concentrations down into the moderate range by mid-afternoon through much of the state, except perhaps along the immediate coast and the highest elevations in the northern parts of Greenville, Pickens, and Spartanburg counties.  Winds will be lightest along the immediate coast, so extended trapping and particulates are likely to pool in Beaufort, Charleston, and Georgetown counties for a significant portion of the day.  In addition, highest elevations near (and downwind of) the Pinnacle mountain fire in northern Pickens, northern Greenville, and northern Spartanburg counties will likely continue to be affected directly by the Pinnacle mountain fire smoke plume, thus ORANGE is likely in the northern half of these counties.  Elsewhere, code yellow (fine particulate levels) is expected throughout the remainder of the state on Friday with better air quality overall anticipated later in the day.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/.

Forecast Map for Friday, November 18, 2016


November 16 Afternoon Update

THE AIR QUALITY ALERT IS EXTENDED FOR MOST OF SOUTH CAROLINA THROUGH THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2016

An Air Quality Alert for Fine Particulates has been declared for most of South Carolina, and the alert will continue through Thursday.  An air quality action day means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.

A Code RED (Unhealthy) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina:  Anderson,Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina:Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chester, Clarendon, Colleton, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Georgetown, Greenwood, Hampton, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg, and York

Forecast Discussion: Fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the ORANGE or RED categories across almost the entire state of South Carolina on Wednesday.  High pressure will continue to creep very slowly into the Carolinas on Thursday.  Another very stable near surface atmosphere sets up overnight, which will allow particle pollution to settle and sit over the region.  Although vertical ventilation of the smoke appears to be a bit better on Thursday, the lack of winds near the surface will continue to keep particulate concentrations above the alert level (CODE ORANGE or CODE RED) for most of the state on Thursday.  CODE yellow is expected in the most northeastern counties of the state.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/

Forecast Map for Thursday, November 17, 2016


November 15 Afternoon Update

AIR QUALITY ALERT FOR MOST OF SOUTH CAROLINA ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2016 

An Air Quality Action Day for Fine Particulates has been declared for most of South Carolina.  An air quality action day means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.  

A Code RED (Unhealthy) Air Quality alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina:  Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Union, and York

A Code ORANGE (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) Air Quality Alert has been issued for the following counties in South Carolina: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Sumter, and Williamsburg

Forecast Discussion: Fine particulate concentrations are likely to peak in the ORANGE and RED categories across much of the western half of South Carolina on this Tuesday afternoon.  High pressure will slowly move eastward into the Southeast US on Wednesday.  As a result, a rather dry and stable airmass will continue across the state with just a light northwest wind and very little movement to the overall airmass.  As a result, particle pollution will remain in the orange and red category on Wednesday, except yellow in the most northeastern counties of the state.

Numerous large wildfires continue to burn within the Southern Appalachian Mountain region (in western North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, north Georgia, and eastern Tennessee).  These fires are producing large smoke plumes, and the smoke is expected to create unhealthy breathing conditions where the smoke is most concentrated.  Smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

South Carolina DHEC recommends that individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Take measures to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.  Keep windows and doors closed.  If operating an air conditioner/central heating unit, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

People located near the wildfires should monitor the situation very closely. See the South Carolina Forestry Commission website for the most up to date information (www.state.sc.us/forest).

For information about the areas affected by the smoke, along with the location and current conditions of the wildfires, please visit https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires.  

For additional information about smoke and its health affects, please visit http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/DisasterPreparedness/Wildfires/
.

Forecast Map for Wednesday, November 16, 2016