Lake Drummond reopens
Published 12:31 am Saturday, October 29, 2011
Lake Drummond will reopen to public access today after months of being closed because of the wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp.
Almost three months after the initial discovery of the fire, which was sparked by lightning on Aug. 4, enough of the fire has been extinguished to allow public recreation on the water once again.
“Public safety has been a goal from day one, but we now feel it is appropriate to reopen the lake to boaters accessing from the Dismal Swamp Canal and the Feeder Ditch.”
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During the fire, Lake Drummond became a vital source of water to help firefighters battling the blaze. Firefighters pumped water from the lake and diverted it into the swamp’s ditch system to flood the fire zone. Aircraft also dipped large buckets into the lake to drop water on the fire from above.
Visitors should be aware that the reopening is for water access only. Interior Ditch Road and the pier remain closed, as does the auto tour route to Lake Drummond from the Railroad Ditch entrance.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened the Lake Drummond reservation, Feeder Ditch and Dismal Swamp Canal. With the reopening of the lake, the popular water trail can be enjoyed by visitors in canoes, kayaks and small power boats.
Firefighters continue to monitor smoldering hot spots that are completely surrounded by water, and road and habitat stabilization plans are being implemented.
The fire consumed an estimated 6,377 acres.