KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knox County has issued a burn ban through Tuesday, Aug. 22 with much of the region under a Code Orange Air Quality Alert.

The Knox County Environmental Health Department issued a ban on open burning Monday which will remain in effect through Tuesday to avoid further worsening the air quality.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for the Greater Knoxville Metropolitan Area until 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow site, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Knoxville on Tuesday is expected to be above 100. Indexes from 100-150 are considered “unhealthy for some,” meaning those with asthma, emphysema or COPD as well as young children and the elderly may experience breathing difficulties.

While the general public is not likely to be affected under an Orange Alert, people who have respiratory allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could be affected by an AQI between 100-150. Other groups who could be affected are people with heart or lung disease, adults over the age of 65, children, and pregnant women.

Those potentially impacted should consider reducing activity levels or shortening the amount of time they are active outdoors. Windows and doors should remain shut to keep indoor air as clean as possible.

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