Posted by Meteorologist Andrew Freiden.
We’re smelling it again in Richmond. It’s the smell of smoke that has a lot of us looking to see if our house is on fire! A fire burning in the Great Dismal Swamp in Suffolk/Chesapeake is producing the smoke and it’s drifting our way. Click here for a map of where the swamp is. The fire is only 80 miles away from Richmond so it doesn’t take much to get the smell up here. Calm winds overnight allowed the smoke to spread North and West. It looks like westerly winds by midday or afternoon should push the smell back to Hampton Roads and Eastern North Carolina.
A wonderful article from The Virginian-Pilot gives some great background. Apparently there was a fire in the swamp in 1923 that burned for THREE YEARS! This year’s fire might continue to smolder until a tropical storm arrives, or drenching rain from a big thunderstorm in just the right place. That means we’ll continue to get smoke every once in a while, when the winds are just right. Most of the smoke will continue to be in Hampton Roads this summer since the prevailing winds tend to blow in that direction.
The Fish and Wildlife Service website has some great images that give you an idea of the size and scope of the fires. There’s one below, with more links below.
*Note There are also separate fires burning in some Eastern NC Counties and some of that smoke MIGHT be coming our way, too.*