The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reports the smoke smell many county residents have been reporting is from two forest fires on federal land in Shenandoah and Warren counties in Virginia.
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, about 181 acres in the area of Veach Gap within the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest was burning, with only about 5 percent of the fire contained, said Stephanie Bushong of the Virginia Department of Forestry. Department of Forestry crews are on the scene with about 101 personnel, including hand crews, heavy equipment operators and helicopter crews.
There have been some trail closures in the National Forest, but the park as a whole is not affected.
Bushong said there is also a fire burning in Shenandoah National Park. "The Jeremys Run and Neighbor Mountain Trails and Jeremys Run Overlook are closed due to fire activity in the North District on Neighbor Mountain," reports an alert on the park's website.
"If people are coming out this way for the weekend, they will smell smoke," said Bushong.
Updates on both fires are available at InciWeb, the Incident Information System. (Search in the upper right hand corner of the site by incident and/or state.)
"If someone in Fairfax County sees smoke in addition to smelling it, they should call us," said a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Because smoke is wafting into Fairfax County from the forest fires, Fairfax County crews are not responding to reports of smoke smell only.