On Tuesday the state forestry officials lifted the Red Flag Fire Alert that had been issued for the state Forestry Commission’s 14-county Pee Dee operating region.
High winds and dry conditions combined to keep the South Carolina Forestry Commission busy again on Monday.
Spokesman Scott Hawkins says during the alert period of February 18 -21, personnel and fire departments responded to 138 fires in the Pee Dee area.
The vast majority of them were caused by debris burning. Those debris burns… people think they’re just going to have a small fire in their yard, and lo and behold that low humidity and those winds just take that fire away from them.
The Forestry Commission said that firefighters responded to about 300 fires statewide over the long President’s Day weekend. Officials say more than half of those fires began as debris burns that got out of control.
Hawkins says that citizens can help the Forestry Commission by keeping an eye out.
We have a little bit of aerial surveillance, although our budget cuts have cut into that. But it’s the 911 system. It’s citizen spotters, I like to call them, that help us out. If you see smoke call 911 or 1-800-777-FIRE and let us know about it so we can check it out.
Tuesday’s release says that no South Carolina county is currently under a Forestry Commission Red Flag Alert, but still warns citizens not to burn while low humidity and high winds persist.