wildfire in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on the Dare County
mainland is steadily coming under control.
The fire is considered 100 percent contained, but smoke and flames were
still erupting from smoldering fires in underground peat deposits with
a flare-up as recently as July 29.
Over the past weekend, the Pains Bay Fire received rain, ranging from
one to two inches, depending on the location, according to a media
release this week from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
An aerial flight on Sunday, Aug. 7, showed no visible smoke coming from
the fire, which was first reported on May 5 and was probably caused by
Though eastern North Carolina continues to suffer from serious
drought conditions overall, the recent rain provided temporary
relief for local firefighters.
"It was great to have some rain, but with the drought severity
this part of the state, we will continue to have flare-ups whenever we
have drier, windy days," explained District Fire Management Officer Tom
That was the good news, but the not-so-good news is that a new wildfire
was reported on Aug. 4 in the Dismal Swamp area of southeastern
That fire, also thought to have been caused by lightning, was first
reported on Thursday, Aug. 4.
Yesterday afternoon, it was burning over 4,700 acres and was only 10
Heavy smoke from that fire was blowing into the Hampton Roads area and
also affected the northern Outer Banks over the weekend and early this
Yesterday, Wednesday, there was a smoky odor on Hatteras for the first
time in about a month. With a wind shift, it apparently came from the
Dismal Swamp fire, called the Lateral West Fire.
In May and June, Hatteras and Ocracoke were periodically affected by
heavy smoke and ash from the Pains Bay fire and then from wildfires
fires in southeastern North Carolina.
There has been little or no smoke on the islands since the July 4
The Pains Bay fire has burned 45,000 acres and threatened the mainland
fishing community of Stumpy Point.
There is still some ground fire, perhaps as much as 1,000 acres, in the
The Juniper Road fire in Pender County in southeast North Carolina has
burned 31,140 acres and is 92 percent contained. It was
on June 19 and was started by lightning.
Simmons Road fire in nearby Bladen and Cumberland counties has burned
4,438 acres and is 95 percent contained. It was reported on June 20 and
was also caused by lightning.
On North Carolina wildfires: http://www.inciweb.org/state/34/
On the Dismal Swamp wildfire in southeastern Virginia: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2458/