AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Some people may not realize the smoke in the skies until you mention it to them. But for others, mainly those who already have trouble breathing, the unexpected fire residual is sending them straight to the doctor.
Crews are battling wildfires across the southeast. The smoke has blown south into eastern Georgia and South Carolina.
The hazy, smoke-filled skyline in the CSRA is nothing like smoke from raging fires in parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and North and South Carolinas.
A GIS map shows the areas impacted across the southeast.
A few hot spots are within miles of the Augusta area in Barnwell and Allendale counties in South Carolina and Jenkins County Georgia.
For those who are already impacted by asthma, they’re heading straight to the pharmacy and the doctor.
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University Pulmonologist Clark McDonough says people…even those without asthma may begin to feel the smoke.
“Severe and life threatening. I’ve seen quite a few people coming in with asthma symptoms that are exasperated. They are worsening asthma symptoms,” he said. “Itchy eyes, cough, runny nose, a lot of upper respiratory symptoms.”
The wildfires started a few days ago and Dr. McDonough said over time the exposure could cause some lung injury. For now, people may want to see the doctor.
Dr. McDonough added, “For the most part I would stay inside as much as possible. Wear a mask if you have to stay outside for extended periods of time.”
The U.S. Forest Service reports arson is suspected for more than a dozen wildfires in western North Carolina. For us here in the CSRA, we may just want to stay inside if we can.