USA — Today’s rain is not likely to put out the 1,700-acre brush fire, the state forest service says.
500 acres are actively burning, much of it beneath the surface, making it all but immune to the rain.
Smoke from the fire forced authorities to again close U.S. Highway 17 at the state line.
The fire remains 95 percent contained.
It’s likely firefighters will install a temporary irrigation system in the coming days to flood the acres of peat still burning, said Tom James, North Carolina Forest Service spokesman.
“That’s usually the way we have to put these kind of fires out,” he said. “But we appreciate the respite the rain is giving us today.”‘
Chesapeake Battalion Chief Steve Johnson agreed.
“The rain will certainly help but not remove the problem completely. The type of fire in that area can burn below the surface to depths of three to five feet. We need four to six inches of rain without interruption to completely saturate the ground,” he told WVEC.com.
In Suffolk, firefighters say they haven’t gotten any calls about smoke from the brush fire at Tidewater Community College.
“The rain is defintely cleaning the air,” Capt. Jim Judkins explained to WVEC.com.