Swamp Fire Consumes 2,500 Acres
August 9, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
SUFFOLK, Va., Aug. 9 (UPI) — A wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge has burned at least 2,500 acres of swampland near Suffolk, Va., officials say.
An air quality alert has been put into place for the Hampton Roads region until midnight Tuesday, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported.
However, refuge officials don’t believe the smoke will be dissipate anytime soon.
“It’ll be smoking for a while,” said Cindy Lane, a spokeswoman for the refuge.
“We need rain desperately,” she said. “The vegetation that’s burning is just dry because it hasn’t rained in so long or significantly. It’s good conditions for a bad fire.”
Firefighters from North Carolina, Maryland and elsewhere have been on site helping fight the fire that officials say they fear will be much like the swamp fire of 2008 that slowly burned 5,000 acres.
“With this heat and no rain — it’s been dry — there’s no telling what’s going to happen with this fire,” Skip Holbrook, a Chesapeake, Va., resident, said.