Wildfire crosses state line, grows to 4,700 acres

By on August 10, 2011

The Lateral West Fire has crossed the state line and moved into the Dismal Swamp State Park in Camden County.

The fire, which started a week ago from lightning strikes in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge near Lake Drummond in Suffolk, has now burned 4,700 acres.

More than 140 firefighters are trying to battle the blaze that is burning on land that was scorched by a fire in the summer of 2008.

Smoke from the fire is forecast to be over portions of northeastern North Carolina again today because of light northerly winds. The worst smoke conditions will be east of Elizabeth City this morning, and then west of Elizabeth City in the afternoon.

Air quality alerts are posted for much of northeastern North Carolina, with code red in all of Gates, and northern sections of Currituck, Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Chowan, and Hertford counties. Code orange is in effect for the rest of those counties north of the Albemarle Sound.

The air quality alerts are for fine particulates in the air from the smoke, and you should avoid or reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors if you can see and smell smoke in your area.

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