• Smoke from JBLM wildfires hangs over South Sound

    By: KIRO 7 STAFF


    JBLM, Wash. - Smoke lingers in Pierce County as crews fight two wildfires burning out of control at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

    The wildfires burning on base have been burning for days, even weeks.

    One of the fires in training area nine started several days ago, but the cause isn't known. It's putting out smoke that is spreading from base to downtown Tacoma.


    “Just makes me a little nervous because we live out here in a community of about 30, 32 of us,” said Don Archer who lives in nearby Spanaway. “And it’s getting kind of smokey.”

    “We definitely feel the uncomfortableness and what it feels like, the smell of it and we apologize to the community,” said JBLM spokesman Gary Dangerfield.

    As of Wednesday afternoon the fire creating the smokiest problem for nearby residents was 100 percent contained.

    >> PHOTOS: JBLM wildfires send thick smoke over South Sound 

    Another fire burning on the artillery range is believed to have started about two weeks ago by rounds fired during a training exercise. Crews are fighting that fire by air because it is unsafe to fight on the ground.

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    Chopper 7 was overhead Wednesday as flames continued to consume the landscape.  

    JBLM says the fires are not a prescribed burn or range fire, which has been ongoing for a couple of weeks.

    <br>Air quality alert issued

    The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department released an air quality alert Wednesday afternoon, detailing who may be at risk from the smoke in the air.

    Those with asthma, heart or lung disease, children, elderly and pregnant women are most at risk. This includes those with respiratory issues such as asthma, colds, or the flu. 

    At-risk individuals are advised to avoid physical exertion if smoke is in the air.

    Avoid using tobacco products, candles, fireplaces, gas stoves, or creating recreational fires in order to prevent indoor air pollution.

    For the latest information on the area's air quality.

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