Growing Great Dismal Swamp Fire Crosses Into North Carolina

A wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge has crossed from Virginia into North Carolina. This as smoke from the fire has drifted south to New Bern.

Refuge officials say lightning started the fire, which was reported Aug. 4. Fueled by dry conditions and winds, it has grown to 5,700 acres and is just 10% contained.

Spokeswoman Barb Stewart says the fire is the biggest in recent history in the swamp, exceeding the 2008 fire that burned nearly 4,900 acres. She says the fire is still growing and is likely to burn for weeks. No homes or other structures are in danger.

Stewart says nearly 160 firefighters from across the nation are battling the blaze. Along with dumping water on the fire, they're creating what they call a "fuel break" around the perimeter by clearing burnable material to stop the spread of the fire.

State air pollution experts say on Friday smoke from the fire is expected to push south and southwest.

Residents from Warrenton to Roanoke Rapids and other communities near the Virginia-North Carolina state line could experience unhealthy air quality.

The forecast for Friday shows Code Red conditions for Camden, Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties. Code Orange, or air that is unhealthy for sensitive groups, is possible in those areas as well as Bertie, Chowan, Halifax Pasquotank, Perquimans and Warren counties.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Child of FFEO Location: ENC on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:13 AM
    Smells like money to me! Quit complaining and be thankful that you and your family members aren't on the front line fighting the blaze, like mine!
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Aug 12, 2011 at 07:07 AM
    We have had to deal with it here in the Outer Banks.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 11, 2011 at 09:35 PM
    Pamlico county here we are getting it terrible. Also, makes everyone I know sneeze all day long. Very aggervating. This has got to stop.
  • by ajw Location: creswell on Aug 11, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    Very bad all day in columbia and creswell area!
  • by New Bern Location: River Bend on Aug 11, 2011 at 01:37 PM
    Very smoky today in the New Bern area @ 2-3:30 P.M.
  • by Kenny Location: Morehead city nc on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:37 PM
    smke has reached morehead city north carolina. lot of fires this dry summer.
  • by Cane Location: MD on Aug 11, 2011 at 10:23 AM
    We are smelling the smoke from this fire in Maryland.
  • by jerry Location: kinston on Aug 11, 2011 at 07:43 AM
    my heart goes out to the firefighters on line treying to get it out and I hate to say it but it sure would be nice if a tropical storm ame along and helpd them out dont mean anything as far as damage but to put that fire out
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 11, 2011 at 08:24 PM in reply to jerry
      I was hoping Emily would blow such luck but if they are right we are in for an active season.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:24 PM in reply to jerry
      Thank you Jerry for thinking about the firefighters. They have come from all over to help with this fire leaving their families at home to help other people. believe me they wanted out just as bad as the next person so they can get home to thier families.

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