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Smell smoke? Controlled burn in Citrus County travels south

By Devin Rodriguez
Published: February 9, 2018 Updated: February 9, 2018 at 08:58 AM
Smoke from a 1,000-acre controlled burn in Citrus County traveled south on Feb. 9, 2018. The smoke was caught in a cold front traveling from the north which picked up the smoke and spread it across parts of Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. [WTSP]

Did you smell smoke in the air Thursday afternoon?

That odor and haze was caused by a 1,000-acre controlled burn conducted in Citrus County by Florida Fire Services.

Pasco County 911 reported receiving multiple calls about smoke in the air of northern Pasco, that reached parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Thursday morning, winds around the Tampa Bay area were traveling west-southwest. But by the afternoon a cold front swept in, which may have gone unnoticed considering the abnormally high temperatures for a February day.

That northern cold front picked up the smoke from Citrus County.

"That smoke just happened to be in the perfect place to be picked up the front and spread across such a highly populated area like Hillsborough," 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Grant Gilmore said. "If you traveled a little east, you may not have noticed it at all."

There were no active fires Thursday around Pasco County, fire rescue officials said.

Officials advised that people with lung conditions or breathing ailments stay indoors and keep the windows closed until the smoke cleared.