Va. Smoke Inundates Resort Area

BERLIN — Worcester officials this week advised the public the heavy, acrid smoke that drifted over the area mid-week was the result of a fire covering 2,500 acres in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.

The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office this week reported the smoke and other conditions that arrived across much of the resort area on Tuesday afternoon was a direct result of the ongoing fire at the national wildlife refuge in Virginia and that conditions could persist depending on the wind direction. Residents were urged to be aware of the situation and to avoid calling 911 to report general, non-specific smoke and odor conditions, which would assist the fire marshal’s office and fire departments in the county from utilizing resources unnecessarily.

This week’s smoke inundation from a fire down south was not the first such incident in the area. In late June, smoke and haze from a wildfire in Dare County, N.C. drifted across the resort area prompting 911 calls from Berlin and Ocean City to Snow Hill and Assateague. In July 2008, a massive stump fire in North Carolina sent smoke north across much of the mid-Atlantic including Ocean City and the entire Worcester County for a period of seven days during the height of the summer season.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.