My call was one of a few placed to the Portland Fire Department this afternoon inquiring about the source of unusual smoke hanging in the downtown.
BDN photojournalist Troy R. Bennett noticed the heavy smoke while out on assignment this afternoon, and immediately went searching for the fire. Back here at the home office, the scanner was relaying nothing about a blaze that would smoke out the Portland downtown, so we were all pretty perplexed.
So I called the Fire Department, and was told I wasn’t the only one trying to find out what’s going on.
Just minutes later, I heard from city communications director Nicole Clegg, who said the source of the smoke is Cushing Island, where billows from the annual brush burn are being held lower to the ground by the cloud cover overhead.
Clegg said the annual brush burn on the island keeps the fire hazard down during the year, it’s permitted and firefighters are on standby in case they’re needed.
So if you wondered, as Troy and I did, what the smoke was, there’s your answer.