This past week, coverage of the Evans Road wildfire took a different turn—thanks to the wind. Smoke from the big fire was blowing inland.
Many people couldn’t believe the smoke from Hyde, Tyrrell & Washington counties was filtering into their neighborhood. The smoke seemed like it was everywhere. At work, you walked down the hallway and got a whiff. It even set off smoke alarms inside buildings.
Soon there were smoke advisories, Red Alerts, and even the unheard of Purple Alert. When the Division of Air Quality sounded that first Purple Alert, we have to admit that caught us off-guard. We had heard of Yellow Alerts, Orange Alerts and even Red Alerts…but Purple? While waiting on a phone call back from the D.A.Q. public information officer, we did some Internet surfing and quickly learned a Purple Alert was the worst. There actually is an alert above Purple, but I don’t want to know what that color is, yet.
The smoke heightened public awareness of the fire itself. In fact, the number of people visiting witn.com doubled or even tripled from what a typical Thursday or Friday would bring. Overnight people from the Triangle and Triad quickly learned about the Evans Road fire.
In the newsroom, we welcomed your smoke reports and story ideas. We made good use of our network of cameras located throughout Eastern Carolina to show you where the smoke was and just how bad it was.
By late Friday, the smoke was gone. Good news for those living and working in Washington, Greenville, Kinston and New Bern. But it’s bad news for somewhere else.
Until the fire is out, it looks like we’re all going to have to take turns coughing up smoke—all at the mercy of Mother Nature.
I'd like to hear about your experiences with the smoke, just post a comment and share!