Smoke, haze from N.C. fire descend on Suffolk

Published 8:58 pm Thursday, June 30, 2022

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A wildfire in northeastern North Carolina could make life unpleasant for Suffolk residents.

City officials said in a news release that the fire in Hyde County, roughly 2½ hours south of Suffolk, will likely cause hazy skies and a smoke odor locally.

The fire began Sunday, June 19, likely caused by a lightning strike. It had consumed 1,938 acres and was 35% contained as of Thursday evening, according to the North Carolina Forest Service.  

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The smoke plume from the fire can be seen in Suffolk due to southeastern winds. 

“We’re making this announcement because it’s important for our citizens to know what’s going on,” said Suffolk Fire Chief Michael Barakey. “We’ve been receiving a high volume of calls regarding the odor and visible smoke due to the shift in wind.”

John Cook, incident commander with the North Carolina Forest Service, said that “smoke modeling for air quality is not exceeding lower levels, however, individuals who are sensitive to the smell could experience issues.” 

Cook also noted that the haze and smoke odor might become stronger around midnight Thursday when the southerly winds were expected to shift in the direction of Suffolk. Smoke conditions are expected to improve this weekend.  

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality online forecast listed Hampton Roads’ air quality as “moderate” Thursday.

The DEQ monitors air pollution at many locations throughout the state. The online mapping tool shows the current estimated air quality index, or AQI, which is used to describe how clean the air is, and what health effects might be expected. To view the online mapping tool visit

For the latest information about the Hyde County fire, visit