Code Red air quality through Saturday night

RICHMOND, VA - The heavy smoke in our area has prompted a code red air quality alert through midnight Saturday. It's prompting a lot health concerns for anyone planning to spend time outdoors this weekend.

That fire may be two hours away in Suffolk, but the smoke is just as damaging if you have any allergies or asthma.

People thought the fire was local. The fire and rescue emergency dispatch was flooded with calls about a possible fire in the area. A lot of people smelled the lingering smoke blown over by the massive fire in the Dismal Swamp.

"You can definitely smell the difference in the air, it affects how I worked out this afternoon," said John Cherenzia of Richmond.

Folks like Terry Ashby are also making changes in their weekend work out plans.

"I was supposed to go out biking tomorrow so we'll see, maybe I'll change my mind if it gets worse," said Ashby.

"I shortened my work out and could feel the difference. I can smell it in the air and see it as you look toward the trees," said Cherenzia.

The Department of Environmental Quality qualifies this code red condition to be unhealthy. They recommend everyone avoid long or heavy outdoor activities. If you have allergies, asthma, or any other respiratory and heart ailments, be careful. Make sure you take your meds and have updated inhalers.

The DEQ warns those with health issues may experience more serious health effects.

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