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Health alerts are issued by DEQ when air pollutant levels are measured or estimated to be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

List administrator(s): Dan Salkovitz, Mike Kiss, Kristen Stumpf, Bobby Lute

UPDATED: Special smoke impact discussion, Friday morning, August 26th

Smoke has worked it's way up through the Richmond area. In downtown Richmond, there is an obvious acrid smell of peat burning as of 10:15 am.

Code Orange conditions are likely through the rest of the day for the following cities/counties: Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Prince George, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Charles City, Hanover, Henrico and Powhatan.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 26, 2011 at 10:29 am

Special smoke impact discussion, Friday morning, August 26th

Prior to the arrival of the heavy rain and high winds from Hurricane Irene, smoke from the Great Dismal Swamp fire continues to be problematic. There have been some very low visibilities reported at several National Weather Service observing locations this morning. As a result, Code Purple conditions are now likely in Suffolk for today. Code Red to occasionally Code Purple conditions are likely in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties. Code Orange to occasionally Code Red conditions are likely in Sussex and Surrey counties.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 26, 2011 at 9:21 am

Smoke discussion, Wednesday afternoon, August 24th

Smoke from the Dismal Swamp fire will affect parts of Virginia on Wednesday night and Thursday.

Wednesday night: Code Purple conditions are likely near the fire in Suffolk, especially in the morning hours. Code Red conditions are likely at various times in the following counties/cities: Isle of Wight, Surrey. Code Orange conditions may occur in the following counties/cities: Charles City County, James City County, New Kent, King William, King and Queen, Essex, Westmoreland and Richmond County.

Thursday: The smoke plume will move slightly more towards the north and east compared to Wednesday night. Code Purple conditions are again likely in Suffolk. Code Red conditions may occur in Chesapeake, Norfolk, York County, Hampton, Newport News, and Poquoson. Code Orange conditions may occur at times in the following counties/cities: Accomack, Northampton, Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex.

Friday: Winds should blow the smoke out of Virginia, towards North Carolina. However, if easterly (as opposed to northeasterly) winds occur, there could be several hours during the day when smoke could affect the counties bordering North Carolina as far west as Buggs Island Lake.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Special smoke impact discussion, Wednesday morning, August 24th

As expected, smoke from the Dismal Swamp fire has spread north and west this morning, essentially along Route 460 then north through the Tri-Cities into the metropolitan Richmond area. As a result, the following changes to today's air quality forecast are made effective immediately through 8:00 pm:

Code Purple: Suffolk
Code Red: Southampton and Isle of Wight counties.
Code Orange: Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Chesterfield, City of Richmond, Sussex, Surrey, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Powhatan, Goochland, Henrico and Hanover.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 24, 2011 at 6:42 am

Smoke discussion, Tuesday afternoon, August 23rd

Smoke from the Dismal Swamp fire will affect Virginia on Wednesday. Code Orange to Code Red conditions are likely in Suffolk, Southampton County, and Isle of Wight County. Occasional Code Orange conditions are occasionally possible in the following counties/cites: Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Chesterfield, City of Richmond, Sussex, Surrey, Dinwiddie, Prince George, Henrico and Hanover.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm