Strange Smoke Seen From Somewhere Around LAX

So beginning about 2:15 p.m. yesterday and continuing at approximately every five minutes for about an hour and a half, I witnessed from my 10th floor office window in Westchester the release of smoke drifiting inland across the skies above LAX/El Segundo. At first I freaked because seeing smoke pour into the air over an airport is never a good thing, but then it happened a second time and I realized it had to be intentional and controlled so I set up the cam and snapped away. I then compiled the images into the following timelapse which actually contains two sequences: the first (at 7.2 x zoom) of which took place between 2:34 and 2:36 p.m., the second (at 12x zoom) about 10 minutes later. The source of the smoke is obscured by the building in the foreground, but that’s the airport’s old control tower next to it and since it seems the smoke’s entering the airspace behind it I can only guess it’s from some type of plant in El Segundo. If/even so: still trippy. Anyone know the source?

UPDATE (02.01): reader Matt totally solved it: Chevron reports its released steam from their refinery operations out there.

9 thoughts on “Strange Smoke Seen From Somewhere Around LAX”

  1. Could it possibly be from the Chevron refinery in El Segundo? I’ve seen smoke (and flames) “coming from the airport” before, only to realize it was actually the refinery, upon getting a better, closer view.

  2. I saw on the news today that LAPD (sheriff, army, SWAT….honestly can’t remember) were blowing up old explosives throughout the day. Dunno where, but coulda been!

  3. I’m pretty sure the fire department has a training site near there, Will. I’ll bet that’s what it was. I think I read as much on their blog or somewhere once.

  4. The fire department may have a training location around there, but with the regularity of the intervals and the overall duration this smacks me as more of a refinery belch. That or a really big magic dragon.

  5. Wow, you actually have a job? I assumed that bitching about everything was your full-time job.

  6. I work south of the 105 and we noticed them that afternoon as well.

    Saw another this morning on the way to work.

    No idea what is causing them though – but they do seem to be originating from somewhere within the Chevron refinery area.

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