Virginia wildfire smoke seen from space
If you happened to be in Washington, DC Tuesday, or in Anne Arundel County as I was, you could smell what seemed like wood smoke in the air. It was smoke, and it was coming from a raging fire in southeast Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp, blown by a south wind into northern Virginia and southern Maryland.
Today, a new image from NASA's GOES-13 satellite shows that the fire is still burning, but the wind shifted with the front that swept across the state late yesterday. It's now blowing mostly to the northeast.
The fire is called the Lateral West Fire. It was ignited by lightning and fueled by brush and woods dried by drought conditions in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
By late Tuesday the blaze was only 10 percent contained, and it had consumed 2,500 acres of wild lands. The smoke has triggered a Code Orange air quality alert in the area, including the cities of Norfolk, Hampton and Virginia Beach.