Smoke from Dismal Swamp continues to plague region

- Posted on Aug 17, 2011 - 04:21 PM

Smoke from a wildfire in the Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, approximately 90 miles south of Gloucester Court House, has kept some Gloucester and Mathews residents indoors during the past week.

According to a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the smoke might continue for quite a while. The fire is burning primarily in the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Named the "Lateral West Fire" by USFWS, the fire was started by a lightning strike and was reported on Aug. 4, said the release. It is burning about 12 miles southeast of Suffolk, and it has spread into Dismal Swamp State Park.

Encompassing approximately 6,156 acres, it is only about 10 percent contained in spite of the fact that there are 385 personnel from federal, state and city agencies fighting it with 27 engines, four bulldozers and four helicopters.