The Governor has declared a state of emergency as a result of the widespread fires in Horry County.
“Approximately 15,000 acres have been burned. What we have now are 40 homes reported as destroyed, and at least 100 homes have been severely damaged. Now, what we can tell right now is that 2,500 people have been evacuated and 250 people are in shelters. Currently, the State Emergency Operations Center is at operating conditions 2. Now, OPCON-2 means that there is a disaster emergency situation in effect and we are at a high level of preparedness,” says South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesperson Derrec Becker.
With this, The State Forestry Commission has issued a burning ban across the entire state.
“This morning as we evaluated the number of resources, firefighting personnel and apparatus to Horry County for the fire there, we realized that if anything else broke in the state as far as fires, we would have a hard time containing those fires. So, we are asking the public to help us by not doing any outdoor burning until we get this fire in Horry County controlled, that’s the reason for the burning ban that we have instituted this morning,” says Russell Hubright with the Forestry Commission.
Hubright predicts the ban will last for at least several days.
“Because of the scope of this fire, there’s a couple of things working against us, one is just the magnitude of it, the complexity of it being in the proximity of homes and that kind of thing, the scale of it because it is so large and then also because of the types of conditions that are guys are having to get in when they get away from the houses there are some really wet terrain they’ll have to work in, so we’ll be out there trying to construct fire breaks that are very difficult to maneuver in,” says Hubright.
No injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.