Seattle smelled weird this week. Here's why | KUOW News and Information

Seattle smelled weird this week. Here's why

Aug 3, 2016

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.

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.

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.