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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Drifting smoke from a persistent wildfire has prompted North Carolina officials to extend an air pollution advisory across an even broader swath of the state.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources says people from the coast to the Triad could experience unhealthy air quality on Wednesday and Thursday.

The fire is burning in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare and Hyde counties.

The smoke from the fire contains high levels of particle pollution. The counties close to the blaze are most affected, but unhealthy particle levels have been detected as far away as Goldsboro and Raleigh.

The advisory means people should reduce heavy exertion outdoors, especially those who are sensitive to air pollution.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Photo courtesy http://www.wcti12.com

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