Smelling smoke in Austin? You’re not alone

Weather Blog


AUSTIN (KXAN) — We are receiving reports from viewers who smell smoke in parts of Austin, and you may notice the smell in other parts of Central Texas today.

The Austin Fire Department and other Travis County Departments are investigating the smell, as they received multiple reports of a “smoke-related odor” overnight.

Austin Fire called the KXAN newsroom to discuss the possible cause of the smell, as they are not reporting any fires in the area. Here is the likely source we found after a bit of digging early this morning:

“Light amounts of patchy smoke from agricultural and industrial burning is filtering into the state from the south and is expected to impact spots generally along and south of a line from Del Rio to Waco to Nacogdoches at varying intensities, with heaviest concentrations across South and Southeast Texas. Additionally, light of amounts of a weak pulse of African dust is lingering in Southeast Texas as well while the leading edge of another weak pulse approaches the Texas coastline.”

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) air quality forecast

Breezy south winds blowing all the way from Mexico into our area are known occasionally bring smoke to Texas during the summer months.

The TCEQ is predicting that the light smoke and African dust may get slightly worse tomorrow. Austin’s air quality forecast today is “good”, and tomorrow is “moderate”. Neither day will bring major health impacts for those who are spending time outdoors.

Austin Fire says if you smell smoke but don’t see anything, you don’t need to call 911. You should only call 911 if you smell smoke indoors, or if you specifically see a fire.

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