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For decades, the Smoky Mountain air quality in the national park and surrounding areas has been a huge problem. Even though we all recognize the Smoky Mountains as one of the most beautiful places, over the course of the last decade, the polluted air has caused the scenic views to be “not so scenic.”
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have been studying the air quality and pollution around the national park for decades. Jim Renfro, an Air Quality Specialist in the national park, told local news station WATE that the air quality was actually causing visitors to miss views of Gatlinburg from the mountains. When the views of Gatlinburg started disappearing, it was obvious that the pollution and air quality was a major problem.
According to Renfro, in the past 3 decades of monitoring the air quality, over 300 days were considered unhealthy to breathe.
It wasn’t until 15 years ago that local and national programs decided to cut emissions. And, fortunately, those programs have worked!
Watch the video below to learn more about the Smoky Mountain air quality:
(Click here to read the full article by local news station, WATE.)
Is It Still Safe to Visit the Smoky Mountains?
Of course, don’t worry, it’s definitely safe to visit the Smoky Mountains! In fact, now might be one of the best times to visit so you can take a fresh look at the views you’ve been missing out on for the last few decades.
You can keep up to date with our Smoky Mountain weather videos for the latest on all of the weather and air updates.
How You Can Help with the Smoky Mountain Air Quality
There’s a few ways you can help us save the air in the Smoky Mountains. These are also ways you can help the air quality at your home, too. Here’s what you can do to help:
- When you’re visiting, do your best to conserve energy.
- When you’re traveling, use the most energy-efficient form of transportation.
- Keep your vehicles in good operating conditions.
We’re so glad to know that the Smoky Mountain air quality is improving and only getting better day by day. There’s so many great (new!) views of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that you don’t want to miss, so start planning your vacation right away! Start by browsing through some of these Smoky Mountain cabin rentals.