Lateral West Update 09202011
Incident: Lateral West Wildfire
Lateral West Fire
Friday, September 20, 2011
Earlier this week: Firefighters worked through periods of rain over the weekend on the last areas of smoldering peat. Total rainfall on the fire site was less than 1.5 inches. A heat detecting reconnaissance flight on Monday verified there were no lingering hot areas along the eastern fire boundary.
Today: Large scale pumping is focused on the remaining two hot areas. Varying amounts of smoke continue to be emitted from an area north of Interior Ditch Road and an area south of Interior Ditch Road. Both sites are east of West Ditch and west of Lake Drummond. The two hot spots are on small, slightly elevated ridges and are surrounded by floodwater. Pumps are being realigned to raise the water levels in these areas.
The Pennsylvania Initial Attack crew will be leaving the area tomorrow after two weeks of fighting the ground fire under difficult and hazardous conditions. A crew of AmeriCorp and a crew of Job Corp firefighters will remain on site to monitor the fire and the flooding operations.
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=5IABSTn5rFY