Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wildfire continues to burn in southeast Virginia

A wildfire sparked by a lightning strike August 4th in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Virginia continues to burn this week, producing widespread smoke in the region. The air has that "boggy" smell to it as the fire burns southwest of Lake Drummond near Interior Ditch Road. So far the fire has burned about 2000 acres, and is not contained yet. Here is the latest official update on the wildfire nicknamed the "Lateral West Fire:"

Fire Information Report for Lateral West
Wildland Fire Incident
Report Date: 09-AUG-11
Burnt Area:2,000 Acres (900% increase from yesterday)
Location:Suffolk City County, VA (Nine miles southeast of Suffolk, VA)
Incident Team Type:IMT Type 3
Team Leader:Jeff Koenig
Containment Status:10% contained
Expected Containment:31-AUG-11
Fuels:Regrowth of brush and grasses along with large amount of dead and downed fuel from the 2008 fire is currently fueling this fire. Fire will burn into pine pocosin fuels during next burning period. DeepHigh 90000.00 37

As a result of this wildfire, there is an Air Quality Alert at Code Orange for the regions being affected by the smoke in southeast Virginia (highlighted in grey on this map):

Once the cold front passes through Virginia tonight, this will shift most of the smoke southeast of the area into eastern North Carolina.
--Meteorologist Carrie Rose