What’s That Smell?

Probably coming from Great Dismal Swamp fire

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Some people in the D.C. area woke up Thursday morning, stepped outside, took a deep breath and said, "What the heck is that smell?"

The nose-curling odor is likely coming from the large fire burning out of control at the Great Dismal Swamp National Refuge in Suffolk, Va., according to News4 meteorologist Veronica Johnson.

Southeast winds are pushing the smoke into our area. News4 viewers have reported smoke and haze across northern Virginia and Maryland for days, but Thursday seemed to be the first time people in parts of the District -- especially near the NBC4 studios in northwest D.C. -- could smell the remnants from the fire.  Our station received several calls and e-mails asking about the odor.

As the smell lingers here, more than 400 personnel continue to battle the Great Dismal Swamp fire. A refuge spokesman told the AP Wednesday that installing, maintaining and operating large water pumps throughout the fire remains a priority.

The 6,000-acre fire that was sparked by lightning earlier this month is about 10 percent contained.

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