Seattle smelled weird this week. Here's why
It wasn’t the aroma of Tacoma on Tuesday.
It was the smoky smell of Seattle.
Not like barbecue, though. More like a light tree fumée.
Sara Conley, an air quality scientist, said data showed the smell was coming up from Pierce County overnight. That’s unusual – we don’t usually smell smoke from the south here in Seattle. So Conley called up Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
@cathyduchamp @pscleanair strange gas-like smell on aurora around Greenlake on my morning commute— Zaki Barak Hamid (@ZakiSeapod) August 3, 2016
And they said that they had a training range fire yesterday that grew to be a few hundred acres. The fire has been contained.
The smoke drained out to Puget Sound and spread out over the water. The clouds then trapped the smell at the surface.
@cathyduchamp @pscleanair For sure in Lakewood this morning....like paper burning in a trash barrel.— Bruce Sharer (@kmakazigrdcrew) August 3, 2016
Conley said it’s not so bad – just “a little worse than normal.” People with asthma can still go outside without problem.
“In the winter time, it’s twice as high – that’s due to home heating from wood stoves,” Conley said. “This is really small compared to what we see in the winter time.”
Lewis-McChord officials expect the smoke from the fire to hang around for a few more days.
Clarification: Wednesday's cloud cover was not caused by the smoke, but the smoke remained longer in the area because it was trapped under the clouds.