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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

Special discussion regarding Great Dismal Swamp smoke impacts

THICK, DENSE SMOKE FROM THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMP WILDFIRE IN SUFFOLK, VA WILL IMPACT COUNTIES ALONG THE VIRGINIA/NORTH CAROLINA BORDER TOMORROW, AUGUST 12TH. WINDS WILL GENERALLY BE FROM THE EAST WHICH MEANS CODE PURPLE CONDITIONS DUE TO PARTICLES ARE LIKELY IN SOUTHERN SUFFOLK AND SOUTHAMPTON COUNTIES. CODE RED CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN SOUTHWESTERN SUSSEX AND GREENSVILLE COUNTY. CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN BRUNSWICK AND MECKLENBURG COUNTIES. OCCASIONAL CODE ORANGE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN LUNENBURG, PRINCE EDWARD, CHARLOTTE, APPOMATTOX, NOTTOWAY, CUMBERLAND, AMELIA, AND DINWIDDIE COUNTIES.

SMOKE MAY IMPACT A LARGE AREA EXTENDING NORTH AND WEST OF THE FIRE ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 13TH. THAT INCLUDES CENTRAL VIRGINIA (THE TRI-CITIES, AND RICHMOND), NORTHWARD ALONG THE I-95 CORRIDOR TO WASHINGTON, DC, AND NORTHWESTWARD TOWARDS WINCHESTER.

GUIDELINES FOR CITIZENS TO ASSESS LOCAL AIR QUALITY CONDITIONS DUE TO WILDFIRE SMOKE ARE PROVIDED BELOW:

SMOKE INFORMATION:
Here are some general guidelines for citizens to use in assessing local air quality conditions whenever there is wildfire smoke present:

- If you can smell smoke with no visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. At Code Orange levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution.

- If you can smell smoke with minor visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally Unhealthy. At Code Red levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

- If you can smell smoke with significant visibility impairment, air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or Very Unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: August 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Code Orange air quality in the Richmond area as of 3:00 pm, Friday, July 29th

As of 3:00 pm, Friday, July 29th, the estimated Air Quality Index (AQI) in the Richmond area based upon the current ground-level ozone concentrations is in the Code Orange range (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/). Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should limit strenuous outdoor activities through this evening.

DEQ recommends that people take these voluntary steps:
-- Avoid unnecessary car trips. Combine errands.
-- Share a ride or use public transportation.
-- Limit or halt use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment and solvents.
-- Avoid excessive engine idling.
-- Telecommute.
-- Conserve electricity.
-- Avoid burning yard debris or brush.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: July 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Code Orange air quality in the Hampton Roads area as of 2:00 pm, Friday, July 29th

As of 2:00 pm, Friday, July 29th, the estimated Air Quality Index (AQI) in the Hampton Roads area based upon the current ground-level ozone concentrations is in the Code Orange range (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/). Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should limit strenuous outdoor activities through this evening.

DEQ recommends that people take these voluntary steps:
-- Avoid unnecessary car trips. Combine errands.
-- Share a ride or use public transportation.
-- Limit or halt use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment and solvents.
-- Avoid excessive engine idling.
-- Telecommute.
-- Conserve electricity.
-- Avoid burning yard debris or brush.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: July 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Code Orange air quality in the Richmond area as of 2:00 pm, Thursday, July 28th

As of 2:00 pm, Thursday, July 28th, the estimated Air Quality Index (AQI) in the Richmond area based upon the current ground-level ozone concentrations is in the Code Orange range (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/). Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should limit strenuous outdoor activities through this evening.

DEQ recommends that people take these voluntary steps:
-- Avoid unnecessary car trips. Combine errands.
-- Share a ride or use public transportation.
-- Limit or halt use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment and solvents.
-- Avoid excessive engine idling.
-- Telecommute.
-- Conserve electricity.
-- Avoid burning yard debris or brush.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: July 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Code Orange air quality in the Richmond area as of 1:00 pm, Friday, July 22nd

As of 1:00 pm, Friday, July 22nd, the estimated Air Quality Index (AQI) in the Richmond area based upon the current ground-level ozone concentrations is in the Code Orange range (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/). Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should limit strenuous outdoor activities through this evening.

DEQ recommends that people take these voluntary steps:
-- Avoid unnecessary car trips. Combine errands.
-- Share a ride or use public transportation.
-- Limit or halt use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment and solvents.
-- Avoid excessive engine idling.
-- Telecommute.
-- Conserve electricity.
-- Avoid burning yard debris or brush.

Dan Salkovitz
VADEQ Meteorologist

From: Dan Salkovitz

Sent: July 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm