Shortly before noon Wednesday, I received a call from Linda Sturdivant who was looking off her deck in Inverness Park. “I see smoke!” were the first words out of her mouth. A column of smoke was rising in the vicinity of Black Mountain, she said.

Immediately I hopped into my car and headed that way, but as soon as I turned off Highway 1 and onto the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road there was a sign saying: “Novato Fire District Training Exercise.” So there was nothing to worry about, but I continued on to Platform Bridge so I could photograph a controlled burn smokey enough to cause concern on the far side of Tomales Bay.

Update: Although roadsigns signs said the controlled burn was a “Novato Fire District Training Exercise,” the Marin County Fire Department  — while the fire was underway — issued a press release that said the fire was “to provide a training opportunity for Marin County Fire Department personnel.” Go figure.

The county press release also said the fire was intended “to remove the non-native, invasive vegetation in the area.” The press release added that the burning would continue on Thursday, which it did.

I then returned to town only to find Marin County Firefighters in action on the main street. The firefighters had been dispatched around noon to clean up a paint spill in front the Palace Market.

One firefighter said he’d heard of small amounts of the white paint having been spilled from Inverness to Point Reyes Station. The top of a paint can was found in a trash receptacle at the market.

The fireman said that none of the paint, which was mostly in the gutter and the entrance to the Palace Market parking lot, got into the storm drain. However, he added, the cleanup (in which absorbent particles were used to sop up the paint) was necessary to keep cars from getting paint splattered on them.