AWENDAW, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina's first fire festival took place in North Awendaw on Saturday at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Center.
The Sewee Longleaf Conservation Cooperative organized the Sewee Fire Fest to educate people about the importance of natural fires as part of normal forest health and growth.
The Environmental Center's "Burn Boss" held a live burning as part of the demonstration.
According to organizers, the purpose of the festival was to show people how fire could be used as a practical tool. It was also to explain the essential role that local organizations play in using controlled burning to restore forests while protecting communities.
The inspiration for the event was South Carolina's own historic longleaf pine forests, which are reliant on natural fires for their own expansion.
“People are our forests' most important allies today,” said Colette DeGarady, senior conservation ecologist with The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina and one of the event organizers. “We're thrilled for this chance to teach the community about the importance of prescribed fire and show how they can help support South Carolina's forests.”
Special guests at the event included Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl.