Updated: Wednesday, 20 Jun 2012, 11:47 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Jun 2012, 7:09 AM EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) - Following a large wildfire in New Bern, N.C., officials have expanded an air pollution advisory in eastern North Carolina.
Many residents across Hampton Roads can also smell the smoke and see a light haze as southerly winds bring the smoke into the area, according to Jeremy Wheeler. State officials say residents from Cape Carteret to Morehead City, Havelock, New Bern, Washington, Plymouth and Columbia could experience unhealthy air quality.
As of Wednesday morning, the wildfire burning in the Croatan National Forest County was about 21,000 acres, billowing heavy smoke containing high levels of pollution.
Anyone sensitive to air pollution should avoid or reduce long periods of heavy exertion when outdoors. Those groups include older adults, children, anyone who works or exercise outside and those with heart conditions and respiratory problems.
Officials say fine particles can cause or aggravate heart and lung disease. Symptoms of exposure to high levels include the following:
In extreme cases, particle pollution could cause death.
Again, the advisory is only for the areas listed above and not for Hampton Roads, though residents should still be cautious.
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