KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Update: The code red alert expired as of 4:00 p.m. Tuesday. The air quality forecast for Wednesday will be a moderate risk according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
That means unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a Code Red Air Quality Alert for November 8 for Knoxville, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Chattanooga.
The alert is a result of ongoing wildfires causing significant impacts to air quality in the area.
Wildfire smoke started impacting communities located in the valley Monday.
Officials say a Code Red Air Quality Alert means that air quality conditions are expected to become unhealthy.
Allergist Ty Prince said the smoke is as bad as breathing in extreme air pollution found in what he called "bad cities."
"The red alerts are the highest. If you have any lung condition, you better stay inside," said Dr. Prince. "The biggest thing you're going to see is a cough and you're going to cough a lot because it's a foreign material getting down in your lungs."