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Environment

Air Quality in Tampa Improving from Wildfire Smoke

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If you've been outside today, you probably have smelled the smoke coming from forest wildfires close to the Georgia border.

County officials say there's a moderate level of air pollution today- not enough to issue a warning. We should be getting some fresher air soon.

The smoke is coming from a wildfire burning 13,000 acres close to the border of Georgia. It's far away but we're getting some of the smoke here thanks to the northeast wind.

Julie Marquez from Bay News 9 tells us the conditions are already looking better for most of Tampa Bay.

"It looks like the wind direction will pretty much stay out of the northeast even during the day tomorrow," Marquez said. " But over the weekend, the winds are going to be turning. They'll be out of the south- southeast so we should have an improvement."

But Withlacoochee Forestry Center spokesman Chuck Schnider says the fires will continue to be a problem especially with the drought hitting most of the state.

"They are causing issues where it's burning into the ground- which we call muck fires- where organic fuels are burning," Schnider said. " And it could go on for months until we get our summer rains."