Dismal Swamp smoke headed to Central Virginia

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - What started as a lighting strike one week ago in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk, has now burned more than 5,000 acres and it's still going strong.

The huge clouds of smoke have been taking a toll on the locals.

"It makes you sick in your stomach, burns your eyes, your nose, boy that's some terrible smelling stuff, that's the way it's going to be I reckon," one Suffolk man said.

The dense smoke will now impact counties along the Virginia and North Carolina boarder, Friday.

Authorities are expecting code purple conditions there...the second to the worst air quality level on the chart.

And it's that smoke, that's heading to central Virginia next.

"There's a possibility we could see a code orange air quality alert for the area in the first part of this weekend that simply means there's going to be elevated pollution levels," said Jim Duncan, Chief Meteorologist for NBC12.

Doctors recommend you keep your outdoor activities to a minimum in the coming days, but if the air quality conditions are in the code orange or code red range, you might as well keep all activities indoors.

"You'd have to be concerned if someone had a history of critical asthma or allergies," said Dr. Randy Hinson of Physicians of Family Medicine.

Doctor Hinson says if you have allergy meds, take them, if you have asthma, make sure you have an updated inhaler - and if you have to spend time outside,

"The air quality is probably better in the morning and late in the day," said Hinson.

The air in central Virginia should clear by Sunday.

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