Smoke in south GA has residents concerned about fire, health haz - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Smoke in south GA has residents concerned about fire, health hazards

A fire in north Georgia is pushing out large amounts of smoke. (Source: WALB) A fire in north Georgia is pushing out large amounts of smoke. (Source: WALB)
It was smoke coming from wildfires in North Georgia and Alabama wildfires. (Source: WGCL) It was smoke coming from wildfires in North Georgia and Alabama wildfires. (Source: WGCL)
Forestry rangers spent a good deal of time Tuesday morning checking out smoke complaints. (Source: WALB) Forestry rangers spent a good deal of time Tuesday morning checking out smoke complaints. (Source: WALB)
Ranger Clay Ferguson (Source: WALB) Ranger Clay Ferguson (Source: WALB)
Dr. Tracy Bridges (Source: WALB) Dr. Tracy Bridges (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Most residents probably noticed a layer of smoke around south Georgia on Tuesday.

It was smoke coming from wildfires in North Georgia and Alabama wildfires.  

Last week, Atlanta was covered in a blanket of smoke.

A lot of people in the area have been concerned about it.

Georgia Forestry Commission and Albany Fire Department officials said that they received a lot of calls from people worried there were fires nearby. 

Officials said the drought does continue to cause a real fire danger in south Georgia.

This is the time of year that many farmers and landowners normally burn off fields, but Forestry Commission Rangers are asking them to wait.

"Most farmers are doing pretty good about holding off of these agricultural burns. They are aware of these red flag situations, that we may present to them.  And they really work with us a good bit," said Ranger Clay Ferguson with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Forestry rangers spent a good deal of time Tuesday morning checking out smoke complaints.

With all of the smoke in the area, some residents were also concerned about potential health hazards.

Unless you feel there is significant reason for concern, there isn't a huge concern for fires.

However, if you feel that there's an issue in your area, you can always call the fire department.

Dr. Tracy Bridges of the Allergy and Asthma Clinics said that Albany has one of the highest concentrations of asthma and COPD sufferers in the state, so the smoke can be a real health issue.

Bridges said people who are taking regular asthma or COPD medications or treatment should make sure to keep those up.  

If someone is having an asthma flareup or shortness of breath, they should stay indoors.  

If residents do go out, they should keep their car windows up.  

He also suggests that people clean out their nasal passages.

"So if you are having a lot of sinus congestion and problems, commercially available saline irrigation kits are very helpful for kind of cleansing the nasal sinus passages," explained Bridges.

People breathe about a thousand times an hour, so with that smoke in the air you can get a lot of particles in the nose and lungs.  

Bridges said that if someone's breathing problems continue or worsen, then they should see a Doctor.  

The air quality index in most parts of Georgia is over the healthy level, in some parts of the state it's more than double the unhealthy benchmark.

While the smoke eased off  Tuesday afternoon, it will probably be back Wednesday morning.

The only real relief will come with rain.

Video of the smoke outside of the WALB station:

A video posted by WALB (@walbnews10) on

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