A putrid-smelling smoke cloud befouled Arcata's western skies Wednesday afternoon after a fire erupted in the old Beaver Lumberyard near the corner of 7th and L streets, and it had nothing to do with marijuana. Gas masked firemen doused the flames, but not before they had melted a few old tires and charred some Mad Max-looking mobile conveyor belt thingy, sending who knows what-all into the pink, innocent lungs of onlookers. Here's Arcata Fire Chief John McFarland: "There was some sort of demolition project going on. They were cutting up an old piece of equipment and didn't realize it had a fuel tank on it." Oops.
"They," according to an onlooker, were Arcata Scrap and Salvage. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. "It put up a heck of a good column of smoke," McFarland said. Personally, I would have described it as a noxious doom vapor, but he's the professional.