News Release
Southeast Region


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Pains Bay Fire on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

May 8, 2011


  • Bonnie Strawser, USFWS - (252) 473-1131,

May 8, 2011 map of the Pains Bay Fire: Download PDF

Latest updates on the Pains Bay Fire: available on the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge website


A smoke plume as seen from a car on the highway

Smoke plume on the west side of US 264 as the fire began to shift direction. Credit: Bonnie Strawser, USFWS.

Note: This news release was posted to the Southeast homepage on May 9th. For the latest updates on the Pains Bay Fire, visit the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge website.

Beginning at 7:00 am on May 9, requests for information on the Pains Bay Fire on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge should be directed to the Southern Area Blue Type 1 Public Information Officer Bill Sweet at 404-354-5799. The Blue Team will manage the Pains Bay Fire for the next two weeks or until it is fully contained, whichever comes first.

Today, fire behavior was reduced due to the light rains, cooler temperatures, and calmer winds. Firefighters used this advantage to strengthen and improve containment lines along Jackson, Long Curve, and Perimeter Roads in preparation for backburning, should it become necessary.

Later in the day, tractors plowed a line from Long Curve Road to Lake Worth in an effort to stop the fire's movement to the north. Again, this line could serve as an anchor point for backfiring, should the need arise.

US Highway 264 continued to be closed for a 10-mile stretch between Stumpy Point and Engelhard. The Temporary Flight Restriction was increased to a 15 mile radius and 2,000' ceiling.

The Type 1 helicopter worked today doing water drops using an 800-gallon bucket. The smaller, Type 2 helicopter also made water drops today. Both were mostly working to extinguish hot spots within the interior of the fire and catch spotovers when they occurred.

The fire continued to produce large volumes of smoke; however, much of the smoke appeared to be from ground fire in the interior of the fire.

At 6:30 pm today, the number of people working the fire had increased to 119. Additional resources, including both people and equipment, will continue to arrive over the next few days.

For up-to-date information on the Pains Bay Fire throughout the day, photos, maps, and closure or evacuation notices, follow our posts on We will continue to release updates twice daily as long as fire activity warrants.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Visit the Service’s website at or


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Last updated: April 26, 2011