Smoke in Prince William County came from Marine Corps base controlled burn, officials say

A controlled burn conducted by the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, along the border of Prince William and Fauquier counties, produced heavy smoke Sunday afternoon.

Quantico Fire & Emergency Services said the burn operation occurred from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A controlled burn is a “fire set intentionally for purposes of forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement,” the department said in a Facebook post.

Emergency officials in Prince William County are asking residents to refrain from calling 911 to report the smoke, unless they are reporting a life-threatening emergency, smoke inside a structure of flames near a structure.

Those with respiratory illnesses or medical conditions that could be aggravated by the smoke are asked to stay inside until it dissipates.

The map below gives a view of the area affected by the smoke. County officials said the smoke has spread over several thousand acres.

In addition, the National Weather Service is noting the smoke has appeared on its radar, displaying like low-level clouds.

Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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