DHEC Issues Updated Wildfire Smoke Alert
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 7, 2023
COLUMBIA, S.C. − South Carolinians should be aware of the continued risk for health effects related to smoke from wildfires originating from fires burning across parts of eastern and western Canada, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today.
Smoke from these fires has been in place across the state since Tuesday, and smoke will likely continue at least through today (Wednesday, June 7). Smoke can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.
An Air Quality Alert for fine particulates has been issued for the northern half of South Carolina, which will be in effect for June 7. Counties within the Air Quality Alert include Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenwood, Greenville, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg, and York. An Air Quality Alert means that the fine particulate concentrations within the affected region may approach or exceed unhealthy standards, especially for those individuals sensitive to particle pollution.
It's expected that the health and visibility impacts from the smoke will continue within all regions of the state at least through the day Wednesday. The most significant smoke (and highest fine particulate concentrations) has been observed across northern South Carolina, ahead of a front that will push through the state Wednesday night. As a result, unhealthy for sensitive individuals levels of fine particulate concentrations will be likely across the northern half of South Carolina through Wednesday.
DHEC recommends individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if you have one but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
For more information, please visit DHEC's wildfires information webpage here. For more information about the location of these specific wildfires, please visit the EPA's Fire and Smoke Map available here.