Smoky air could continue next few mornings

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This morning, the smoky air caused many of you to call the local fire departments to let them know about the problem. Now, we are learning the smoky air could continue for the next few days.

It filled the air this morning, making it difficult to see, breath and even workout for people like Arthur Mayo out early this morning in Byrd Park. "It just hit you as soon as you got in the car, just a haze all over, everywhere."

Whether you were walking on the path, or high above Church Hill overlooking Downtown Richmond, like we were during 12 News Today, or taking a wide glancing look at the James River and I-95 from our Skycam, everywhere you looked ... it was smoky.

Local Fire Departments were busy taking calls from people asking just what was going on.

The culprit is a wildfire burning down in Pender County, North Carolina. That's near Wilmington.

NBC12 Meteorologist Andrew Freiden explains, "at night time, it's the perfect set up to get this kind of thing to happen. The air is stable." Plus you add some southerly winds and this smoke is what you get.

It was so bad the air quality quickly went into the Code Red range, basically making it unhealthy for everyone to be outside for too long.

What's remarkable is how far this smoke traveled. In all, about 250 miles or so overnight. That's about a four-hour car ride into Metro Richmond and we may not be done with it for a couple of days.

"We just might have the same conditions light southerly winds. I wouldn't say worse or say we can expect it, but let's not be surprised," adds Freiden.

That's not exactly what people like Arthur are looking forward to, "especially when you want to come out here and have a little fun," says Arthur.

So the big question is, do you work out early or in the big heat later today? Andrew says the best idea is to bag it in the morning and head out in the afternoon, just stay hydrated.

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