Great Dismal Swamp Fire Now Nearly 6,200 Acres

While a half-inch of rain fell on the Great Dismal Swamp fire Saturday, it had little impact on the embers burning in the peat and underneath large logs.

The fire continues to actively burn, even though the rain did cool off the surface and smaller pieces of wood. Nearly 6,200 acres have burned. That's up from 5,600.

“Even if six inches of rain fell in a week, we would still have to run the pumps for a month to put out this fire,” said Timothy Craig, Fire Management Officer for Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Today, according to officials, crews are moving equipment to begin pumping operations on the east side of Lake Drummond and "firefighters will continue strengthening control lines around the fire. As the fire continues to burn through roots under the peat, falling trees remain a significant hazard for firefighters."

Officials say forecasted thunderstorms with strong winds may complicate matters this afternoon.

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Refuge has burned nearly 5,600 acres and firefighters are working to strenghten firelines to contain it.

An incident report released Friday night says many areas of the fire have reached hardwood stands of trees, slowing down the fire's advance. Ten percent of the fire has been contained.

Crews plan to install pumps to use water from Lake Drummond to flood some areas. Firefighters also are hoping a chance of rain on Sunday will help their efforts.

According to an earlier incident report, the fire is the largest in the refuge's history.

Lightning sparked the fire, which was reported Aug. 4.

Smoke from the fire has been visible in satellite photographs taken from space.

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  • by Joel Location: NC on Aug 17, 2011 at 04:57 AM
    How must it burn and how many acres must be sacrifised b-4 they will pump water on the land to prevent more acres from burning? People with breathing disorders or Not suffers as well.
  • by RON Location: BALTIMORE< MD on Aug 13, 2011 at 09:51 AM
    It's Saturday afternoon here. The smoke from the brush fire has been with us now for some hours. I made the mistake of leaving the front and rear doors of the house open and now the place smells like smoky ash.

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