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Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are believed to originate from ultra-relativistic fireballs, with initial Lorentz factor η ∼ 102 − 103. However very high energy photons may still suffer from γγ interaction. We show here that in a wide range of model parameters, the resulting pairs may dominate electrons associated with the fireball baryons. This may provide an explanation for the rarity of prompt optical detections. A rapid response to the GRB trigger at the IR band would detect such a strong flash.