USA — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is discussing possible changes in how it manages the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge due to wildfires in the past three years.
Refuge manager Chris Lowie tells the Daily Press that $25 million has been spent fighting fires in the 111,000-acre swamp since 2008.
Lowie says the expenses have included airfare, lodging and food for hundreds of firefighters. Vehicles and construction equipment were rented, while the agency paid for helicopters to dump water on the fire.
The wildfire that started Aug. 4 burned nearly 6,400 acres. Some areas continue to smolder, but Lowie says they’re contained and aren’t considered a public threat.
The fire also destroyed 800 acres of Atlantic white cedar seedlings that had been recently planted in the swamp.