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Search for cause of brush fire near Cane Bay High School could take weeks

Officials estimate 55-60 acres were involved in the fire. (Source: Skyview Aerial Solutions) Officials estimate 55-60 acres were involved in the fire. (Source: Skyview Aerial Solutions)
Source: Dana Ratliff Source: Dana Ratliff
SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) -

The South Carolina Forestry Commission continues to investigate the cause of a nearly 60-acre brush fire across Highway 176 in Summerville.

Doug Wood, Director of Communications with the Commission said Monday it is not uncommon for these investigations to take a few weeks.

The brush fire appeared to originate somewhere off Barefoot Lane, according to Pine Ridge Fire Chief Ben Waring. The fire then traveled across Highway 176 causing a section of the road to close for a few hours.

Wood said the area is not in much danger for more brush fires, citing the decent wind conditions and looming precipitation that is expected in the area.

“We do need residents to take proper precaution just in case,” Wood said.

Almost half of the brush and wildfires in South Carolina every year are caused by escaped debris burns.

State law requires residents outside of city and town limits to notify the Forestry Commission prior to burning debris outside. The law applies to burning leaves, limbs and branches that you clean up from your yard.

It does not apply within town or city limits. A notification list for South Carolina counties can be found here.

Historically South Carolina’s fire season is from late December to late January, however can sometimes last until late April.

“Weather conditions are different with everything drying up and the low humidity which is a driving factor,” Wood said.

Wood added brush fires do have the potential to reburn. This is when an area that was previously burned, but contains flammable fuel, reignites when burning conditions are more favorable.

“We’re not sure what happened in this case, but are looking into this,” Wood said.

Richard LeBrun, who lives on Barefoot Lane, was evacuated from his home Sunday afternoon.

He called 911 two weeks ago because of heavy smoke in the area and the presence of what he said were 30 foot flames.

He said the fire department was able to contain the brush fire.

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