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Fire in Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, USA – August 20th, 2011

36.5N 76.4W

August 20th, 2011 Category: Fires, Image of the day

USA - August 9th, 2011

A lightning strike in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge on August 4, 2011, ignited the steadily growing Lateral West fire in southern Virginia. As of August 9th, the day this image was acquired, the fire had burned 2,000 acres. Fire fighters estimate that the fire will not be contained until August 31st.

Although a damp swamp may not seem like a prime location for a wildfire, the blaze is actually burning through dry grass and brush, dead vegetation left by a previous fire in 2008, as well as pine forest and soil.

In this image, the fire is producing dense smoke that is blowing towards the northeast. The majority of this smoke is because caused by soil dried by extreme heat and unusually dry weather, making it highly flammable and smoke-producing.

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