Irene helps tame refuge wildfire

Associated PressAugust 31, 2011 

— A fire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is 90 percent contained, thanks to a drenching from Hurricane Irene. But the storm has left firefighters with a new challenge.

An interagency team that includes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and forestry officials says flooded roads and fallen trees are making it difficult to get to remaining hot spots.

Incident Commander Mike Dueitt says two 20-person crews will use small pumps to cool the hot spots.

Irene soaked the swampover the weekend with 10 to 15 inches of rain, dousing the most intense fires. Dueitt says firefighting efforts will be winding down over the next few days.

The fire has burned nearly 6,400 acres in Virginia and North Carolina.

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