Local News

Irene doesn't douse NC swamp fire

Posted August 30, 2011 2:08 p.m. EDT

— A wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in northeast North Carolina continues to burn, despite several inches of rain from Hurricane Irene, authorities said Tuesday.

Firefighters reported seeing smoke in about 30 places Monday and saw flames in some areas, authorities said.

Ten to 15 inches of rain from Irene helped improve containment of the so-called Lateral West Fire to 90 percent – up from 35 percent before the storm. But flooding and downed trees left by Irene will make completely extinguishing the fire difficult, they said.

An Aug. 4 lightning strike started the fire, which has burned more than 6,300 acres along the North Carolina-Virginia border.