Smokers of meat suspected in Newhall smoke sightings


Meat “smokers” are believed responsible for heavy smoke seen rising near Highway 14 and Newhall Avenue, scrambling firefighting crews in response twice in the past two days.

Firefighters from both the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service responded quickly shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday to reports from motorists of smoke seen off the northbound lanes of Highway 14 near Newhall Avenue.

Reports of smoke were relayed to fire officials from California Highway Patrol officers.

“We received the call at 10:02 a.m. about the possibility of smoke coming off the embankment,” Fire Department Vanessa Lozano told The Signal Thursday morning.

“This was an outside investigation,” she said, noting firefighters left the scene shortly after having arrived there.

An official at Fire Station #73 in Newhall said “smokers” preparing meat are believed responsible.

“We’re going to have to go out there and investigate,” Lozano said Thursday. “There are people living back there who smoke animals and, when they smoke them, these smokers are producing smoke.”

On Tuesday, firefighters responded to an almost identical call, reported at the same time of day, specifically, 10:54 a.m., in the area of Newhall Avenue and Sierra Highway.

“The report came in as an outside investigation after white smoke was seen behind the Chevron (gas station),” said Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron.

Fire crews were cancelled a few minutes after having arrived at the area.

Smoking is a process in which meat is flavored or preserved by exposing it to smoke from smoldering wood or some other material.


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