Lateral West Update September 16, 2011
Incident: Lateral West Wildfire
Lateral West Fire
Friday, September 16, 2011
Earlier this week: Firefighters worked on individual hot spots with crews and excavators making considerable progress along the eastern perimeter. As mop up is completed there, resources have moved their focus to the remaining hot areas on the fire's western boundary. Large scale pumping operations were re-established to move greater volumes of water to the more persistent hot spots.
Today: A fresh hand crew arrived today and was assigned to attack the stubborn hot areas on the fire's eastern perimeter. An additional 1.5 inches of rain fell on the site overnight only slightly dampening the smoldering ground fire but also bringing gusty winds and further deterioration of the access routes. Rehabilitation on roads and fire lines continues due to damage from the slowly creeping fire and the additional rainfall.
The large scale pumping operations are flooding the areas within the fire's containment zone. The helicopter continues to support ground operations by dropping water on hot spots and supporting ground crews.
Firefighters must cautiously make their way through fire impacted areas, checking before each move to avoid stepping into ash pits created by subsurface burning of the peat soils. Root weakened trees fall even if they may appear live. These conditions create major safety challenges for the crews.
Crews - 3
Helicopters - 1
Engines - 1
Dozers - 3
Water Tenders - 0
Total Personnel - 102
Location: Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and Dismal Swamp State Park
Size: 6,377 acres
Percent Containment: 90%
Ignition Date: 8/4/11
CLOSURE NOTICE: Due to effects of the Lateral West Fire and for safety concerns Lake Drummond, Railroad Ditch entrance, and the Corapeake Ditch entrance remain closed. The 2011 Deer Hunt season on the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is canceled. Refunds will be issued. All scheduled tours are canceled until further notice.
See photos on flickr: http://bit.ly/ohNf6s
See video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch v=5IABSTn5rFYï¿½