It might have been calling in as a smoke report, but when it isn’t a wildland fire (or some other fire) we code NFIRS “as is, not as toned”. The incident could end up as Unable to Locate (UTL) however it could also be 652 - Steam, Vapor, Fog or Dust Thought To Be Smoke.
Here are some of those choices…
If no smoke was found and no cause of something appearing like smoke was determined, code as unable to locate (UTL).
Use 652 - Steam, Vapor, Fog or Dust Thought To Be Smoke for incidents that was from some form of steam or vapor or fog or dust that was mistaken for smoke. It is a wide description of many types of reasons that the incident was mistakenly identified as smoke when called in.
Diesel exhaust (typically from heavy equipment, and especially when starting up cold) that is mistaken for smoke, or low lying clouds (sometimes presenting as “water dogs”) which are a form of water vapour, or dust from a drilling rig or railway track grinder … all these fit into 652 - Steam, Vapor, Fog or Dust Thought To Be Smoke.
If you have a cause that appeared like smoke, but was not fire, then 652 - Steam, Vapor, Fog or Dust Thought To Be Smoke is the likely coding. If this is not a fit, check alternative incident types.
Do not confuse 651 - Smoke Scare, Odor Of Smoke with a smoke report/smoke chase. A smoke scare or oder of smoke incident type code is identifying those incidents that have smoke, or had smoke upon arriving at scene.
See more NFIRS coding examples for quick “how to” coding snippets: