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You may have heard about the strong wildfires spreading across western North Carolina and South Carolina. Because of these fires, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and the North Carolina State Parks are pausing Hike NC! hikes in Asheville and Charlotte through Nov. 25.

The fires have resulted in poor air quality in the western and southern parts of our state. Poor air quality levels can make it dangerous for people, especially young children and people with allergies and breathing disorders, to spend time outdoors.

Our first priority is ensuring the safety of all Hike NC! hikers and guides. We are continuing to monitor the fires and air quality near southern North Carolina and will decide when it’s safe for Hike NC! hikes to resume.  

Our gratitude and appreciation go out to the firefighters and emergency responders who are working tirelessly to contain the fires and protect the beauty of North Carolina’s natural areas that inspired us to begin Hike NC! If you want to show your support for firefighters, you can find a list of supplies and donation centers here.

You can follow the NC State Parks’ Twitter account and website for real-time update and park closure information. Please remember to follow all park rules and safety guidelines while out and about in natural areas. Burn bans and campfire bans are in place for large parts of the state until the fires are under control.

Hike NC! began as a way to take all of the hesitation out of hiking and make hiking an easier, more approachable experience for North Carolinians across the state. If you’re traveling in North Carolina over the Thanksgiving holidays, you can find guided hikes in other parts of the state at gohikenc.com. Please remember it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and air quality conditions before heading out on a hike. Happy hiking!

 

Charlene Macielag

About Charlene Macielag

Charlene Macielag is a Communications Specialist on the New Media team at BCBSNC.

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