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Latest Great Dismal Swamp Stories

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2011-05-16 09:20:26

Swamp was once a refuge for Indigenous Americans, runaway slaves and others It's the year 1800. You're a slave in southeast Virginia. You manage to escape. Your freedom is only going to last as long as you can hide. Where do you go? Would you believe the Great Dismal Swamp? According to Dan Sayers, assistant professor of anthropology and an historical archaeologist at American University, that's exactly where you could have gone for immediate sanctuary. "There are interesting parallels. What...

2008-10-11 09:00:14

The number of acres destroyed by the fire - the largest area burned in several decades. Officials estimate the expense of fighting the months-long fire could exceed $11 million. By Kristin Davis The Virginian-Pilot SUFFOLK It wasn't the Great Conflagration, b ut the fire that ignited in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge this spring was the costliest and one of the longest-burning in state history. Now it's out. The fire scorched thousands of acres, occupied hundreds...

2008-09-01 09:00:15

By MIKE SAEWITZ Chesapeake Emil Viola used to think wetlands were nothing but trouble . Swamps, bogs and wet fields spread over the region have cost him money and given him headaches. They also have proven lucrative for Viola, the developer who has emerged as the region's leader in a little-known industry that sprang out of environmental protection laws: wetlands restoration. Viola and his partners have invested millions to buy more than 5,000 acres of farmland and forest in South...

2008-08-09 09:00:00

By LINDA MCNATT By Linda McNatt The Virginian-Pilot SUFFOLK For the first time in almost three weeks, officials at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge on Friday saw spears of bright orange flame leaping from the forest floor in the innermost regions of the swamp. That has mostly to do with higher temperatures, lower humidity and dry weather, refuge manager Chris Lowie said. "This is the most amount of fire we've seen lately," Lowie said. "We'll be calling up a...

2008-08-01 09:00:36

By KRISTIN DAVIS By Kristin Davis The Virginian-Pilot SUFFOLK The Great Dismal Swamp wildfire that once blazed out of control has been reduced to a 4,664-acre simmer, with firefighting efforts slashed to a fraction of what they once were. An information center that provided regular fire updates to the media closed last Friday, turning the task back over to refuge officials, said spokesman John Calabrese. The blaze is now 95 percent contained, he said. "The fire's not moving,"...

2008-08-01 03:00:17

By Kristin Davis, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va. Aug. 1--SUFFOLK -- The Great Dismal Swamp wildfire that once blazed out of control has been reduced to a 4,664-acre simmer, with firefighting efforts slashed to a fraction of what they once were. An information center that provided regular fire updates to the media closed last Friday, turning the task back over to refuge officials, said spokesman John Calabrese. The blaze is now 95 percent contained, he said. "The fire's not moving,"...

2008-07-31 21:00:22

By Kristin Davis, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va. Jul. 31--SUFFOLK -- The Great Dismal Swamp wildfire that once blazed out of control has been reduced to a 4,664-acre simmer, with firefighting efforts slashed to a fraction of what they once were. An information center that provided regular fire updates to the media closed Friday, turning the task back over to refuge officials, said spokesman John Calabrese. The blaze is now 95 percent contained, he said. "The fire's not moving,"...

2008-07-30 03:00:29

Nearly 8 inches of rain in the past month has tamped down the wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and curtailed its vast clouds of windblown smoke. But the fire still burns within the swamp's deep peat soil, a fire official said, and a stretch of hot, dry weather could quickly revive it into as big a hazard and nuisance as ever. "People in and around the refuge are looking down the barrel of a long, long summer," said John Calabrese, a spokesman for the refuge. "It's...

2008-07-18 03:00:27

Authorities say lightning is the likely culprit behind a new fire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. A spokesman for the multi-departmental crew said the latest fire was discovered Saturday. The overall fire started June 9 and has charred 4,664 acres. It remains 95 percent contained. There are 157 firefighters battling the blaze, down from more than 200 about a week ago. The refuge covers 110,000 acres in Virginia and North Carolina. Originally published by The...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'