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Air Quality Alerts As Wildfire Smoke Continues

Officials are warning of a whiteout or super fog in the area of the wildfire, this as state environmental health officials say dangerous Code Red and Code Purple conditions are predicted Tuesday for seven Eastern Carolina counties.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials say weather conditions are favorable for the formation of a "super fog event" along Highway 264 and 64 from midnight to 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. The peak of the event is expected around 6:00 a.m. with reduced visibility. Road closures may be necessary.

Smoke, sometimes heavy at times, was visible Monday in Beaufort, Craven, and Pitt counties. The smoke was reported as far south as Brunswick County. Meteorologists say smoke from the fire will continue to drift inland over the next couple of days.

State environmental health officials say dangerous Code Red and Code Purple conditions are predicted for Tuesday in seven Eastern Carolina counties. Those are Beaufort, Carteret, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico, Tyrrell and Washington counties. Code Orange conditions, or air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups, could occur in all counties in the Coastal Plain and far eastern Piedmont.

Over the weekend the wildfire grew to just shy of 45,000 acres, up from 29,000 acres on Friday. Foresters now says there is an extreme growth potential for the fire, which has been burning since May 4th. Some 240 people from 22 states continue to battle the fire.

The blaze is now 65% contained, down from 80% on Friday.

The 2008 Evans Road fire consumed 40,000 acres in Tyrrell, Hyde and Washington counties and burned for several months.

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