Smoke from 2,500-acre brush fire in Great Dismal Swamp reaches D.C. area
(WJLA/AP) - A 2,500-acre brush fire in the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia that has been burning for five days is sending smoke into the southern and eastern shores of Maryland and the D.C. area more than 150 miles away.
Weather conditions continue to hinder efforts to fight the fire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Refuge, which is in southern Virginia and North Carolina.
The Anne Arundel Fire Dept says they've received 40 calls up to this point for reports of the smell of smoke, most in the southern part of the county. They believe attributed to dismal swamp fire
WAVY-TV reports that Cambridge College in Chesapeake closed Tuesday morning due to smoke from the fire.
The smoke prompted the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to issue a code orange air quality alert for Hampton Roads on Tuesday.
The fire was reported on Aug. 4. It's located southwest of Lake Drummond, which remains closed to boating.
The St. Mary's County Health Dept. issued a health advisory for air pollution.
The National Weather Service said prevailing winds will blow smoke into the southern and eastern shores of Maryland.
Code Red air pollution effects sensitive groups including children, ill people and the elderly. The following tips are advised:
Leave the area if you are at greater risk from breathing smoke. Limit your exposure to smoke outdoors and indoors. Stay inside and use your air conditioner. If you do not have an air conditioner, or if smoke is likely to get inside your house, leave the area until the smoke is completely gone. Avoid activities that put extra demands on your lungs and heart. These include exercising or physical chores, both indoors and outdoors. Make sure you take all of your medications according to the doctor's instructions. Contact your physician if your health gets worse. Dust masks, bandanas, or other cloths (even if wet) will NOT protect you from smoke. If you can smell smoke with no reduced visibility, air quality levels are probably in the Code Orange range, or unhealthy for sensitive people. People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities. People who are active outdoors also should take it easier to limit their exposure to particle pollution. If you can smell smoke with minor reduced visibility, air quality levels are probably in the Code Red range, or generally unhealthy. People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities; everyone else should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities. If you can smell smoke with significantly reduced visibility, air quality levels are probably in the Code Purple range, or very unhealthy. At Code Purple levels, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities; everyone else should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities.