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.
Marine Corps Base Quantico is conducting a controlled burn near the Stafford and Fauquier County Line. Due to current weather conditions, moderate to heavy smoke from this controlled burn is traveling in to Prince William County. https://t.co/aMBNwjCgJk pic.twitter.com/8iptd6tVGX
— Prince William County (@pwcgov) March 8, 2020
In addition, the National Weather Service is noting the smoke has appeared on its radar, displaying like low-level clouds.
Smoke from a fire near the border of Prince William, Fauquier, and Stafford Counties is showing up on our radar and satellite. It looks like low level clouds in this picture but it is actually a smoke plume. pic.twitter.com/GDHhWlFAnR
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) March 8, 2020