An Horry County fire is now 75 percent contained, but the work is not finished for firefighters battling the blaze.
State Forestry Commission spokesman Russell Hubright said crews have the fire surrounded, but need to work on widening some of the fire lines, to prevent strong winds from blowing the flames over those lines.
There’s part of the lines that we’re needing to strengthen, that we don’t feel like we can walk away from, yet… We will continue using the bulldozers with blades to push back debris and get down to bare dirt and make sure that we’ve got a good, wide line all the way through there that doesn’t have any weak spots in it.
The fire started Sunday near the Avalon community of Carolina Forest. It has burned about 773 acres since then. The damage has all been in wooded areas and no structures are currently at risk.
Hubright said crews will be focusing on the southern end of the containment zone Wednesday. Two firefighters have been injured fighting the blaze. One suffered a heat-related illness while the other was hurt operating machinery. Forestry Commission Fire Chief Darryl Jones said he’s concerned crews are becoming weary while fighting the latest of what has been an active fire season in the region.
Those concerns led to the commission ordering an outdoor burning ban for 14 counties in the Pee Dee area: Lancaster, Kershaw, Sumter, Clarendon, Williamsburg, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Dillon, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Darlington, Marion, and Lee.
Firefighters purposely started a second fire Monday night in an attempt to slow the fire’s spread. The idea was to prevent the fire from getting larger before it reached the lines cut by workers. Hubright said the effort was successful.
Crews have had some trouble battling the fire due to the area’s swampy terrain and dry weather.