South Carolina Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report
The State Forestry Commission has issued a burning ban for the unincorporated parts of 13 counties in South Carolina, while the rest of the state is under a Red Flag Fire Alert due to several wild fires blazing around the state.
The burning ban makes it illegal for anyone to burn anything outside. The Red Flag Fire Alert does not make it illegal to burn, but people are encouraged not to because conditions can still make it difficult for to contain fires.
The counties with the ban in place are: Lancaster, Kershaw, Sumter, Clarendon, Williamsburg, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Dillon, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Darlington, Marion, and Lee.
Commission Fire Chief Darryl Jones explains that the ban and alert are meant to stop new fires from starting. He also says that the resources being used to contain the fires are growing thin.
We don’t need anyone helping us start extra fires because we got plenty out there to handle. We don’t want to get in a situation where we have more fires than we have resources to send.
Jones went on to explain that firefighters are being exposed to extreme “hot” conditions, which make it even harder to contain the wildfires. He said several firefighters have had to be hospitalized. Jones said one suffered a “heat-related illness,” and a second was injured while operating machinery.
The State Forester has not yet issued a date for when the burning ban will end. The ban will be enforced until further notice.