A number of people contacted the Outpost this morning about an unusual amount of smoke in the air. Said one reader:
LoCO, do you know where all the smoke is coming from?
Can anyone tell me where the smoke in the sky is coming from? Ventura??
Not Ventura, says Debra Harris of the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District. The smoke from the hellacious Southern California wildfires is blowing out to sea. But Harris and her colleagues noticed a bit of extra haze in the air this morning, too, she said. There are likely a few contributing factors.
One: Local atmospheric conditions are currently such that air close to the ground is being trapped near the ground — not a lot of turnover with the upper atmosphere. That’s why there was a lot of fog in the valleys and along the rivers inland last night. Combine that with cold weather and greater use of woodstoves, and you’re going to get some smoke.
But Harris, like others in Eureka, noticed a big plume of the black smoke pumping into the air this morning. Those same atmospheric conditions trapped all the gunk from that fire close to the ground and into our lungs.
Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief Chris Emmons tells the Outpost that his people were summoned to a car fire near the corner of 11th and O streets, near Cooper Gulch, at around 8 a.m. for a car fire. When they arrived, they found an SUV fully engulfed in flame. Firefighters knocked the blaze down before it could spread, but the SUV was a total loss.
Brittany Powell of the Eureka Police Department tells us that the SUV in question was an unreported stolen vehicle — it burned up before its owners noticed it was missing. Police are investigating.