The South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC) is encouraging citizens and landowners to exercise caution when burning yard debris.
Commission Fire Chief Darryl Jones told South Carolina Radio Network that the number of brush fires increases on weekends this time of year when people are clearing their yards. He said if do have a brush fire get out of hand call 911 immediately. “The biggest thing is to make sure you stay with your fire and make sure you call the fire department or the forestry commission as soon as you see a problem. Don’t wait,” Jones said.
State law requires that citizens outside of unincorporated areas notify the forestry commission before burning outdoors. The notification is an automated process, and the toll-free numbers for each county can be found at http://www.state.sc.us/forest/fyard.htm.
Most wildfires are largely preventable when the proper precautions are taken. Those precautions include creating an adequate firebreak around the area to be burned and having enough personnel, water and equipment on hand to keep the fire under control at all times.
With camping season not far off Jones also said don’t get a false sense of safety even if you are using a fire pit. “Our main intention is to get everybody just to remember that it is still possible for a fire to get out,” said Jones. He said make sure the fire is out completely before leaving the camp site.