McClellanville wildfire now 100% contained, officials say

Smoke seen on Highway 17.
Smoke seen on Highway 17.

MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A 2,600-acre wild fire in the McClellanville area is 100 percent contained, as of late Friday afternoon.

According to the South Carolina Forestry Commission, personnel are still patrolling for hot spots and attacking with water within the containment lines through the rest of the fire are.

Officials said the fire was producing "little to no appreciable smoke" as of 3:30 p.m.  Personnel numbers will be reduced Friday night into Saturday.

A crew from the Nature Conservancy with two trained sawyers will be taking down dead, dying, burning trees that are still standing. Those trees pose a significant and continued fire risk.

Food and water supplies continue to be distributed to fire line personnel. Community members have generously donated several items for firefighters including food, drinks and bug spray in order to defray costs to the forestry commission and other cooperating agencies.

Weather is improving which allows for significant progress as humidity is up and winds are down.

Twelve pieces of heavy equipment and approximately 40 personnel remain on duty.

"After seeing areas on ground and air, we estimated $1.5 to $2 million dependent upon marketability of damaged timber and how much timber is lost due to insect infestation over the next few months to a year or so," said state forester Gene Kodama, in reference to estimates on timber losses to land owners. "This figure includes growth losses and near term mortality."

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office reopened U.S. Highway 17 North in Northern Charleston County early Friday morning. The six-mile stretch of the highway between the northern intersection of River Road and Georgetown County line was shut down at midnight Friday morning because of visibility issues due to the wildfire

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