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San Francisco cites Russian diplomats over mystery smoke

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this photo taken Sept. 1, 2017, black smoke rises from the roof at the Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO >> San Francisco’s air board has cited Russian diplomats after smoke from fires wafted out of a consulate that was ordered shut by the U.S. government earlier this month.

Spokeswoman Lisa Fasano of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District says her agency mailed the citation today involving the now-closed Russian consulate.

The U.S. State Department ordered the Russian consulate shuttered in an ongoing diplomatic dispute.

Smoke poured out of the consulate’s chimney on Sept. 1 as Russian diplomats packed to leave. The Russians refused assistance from firefighters.

The air board spokeswoman says the diplomats were cited for burning garbage, which is illegal year-round in San Francisco. Fasano says inspectors do not know what material was burned.

Calls to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., for comment went unanswered after-hours.

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