BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A dense smoke advisory has been issued for inland Berkeley and Charleston counties until 9 a.m. on Thursday.
The locations affected include the region of Steed Creek Road between Route 17 and Highway 41, and Halfway Creek Road between United Drive and Shulerville Road.
According to the National Weather Service, this includes parts of the Francis Marion National Forest near Awendaw, Huger, Shulerville and Jamestown.
Reports state that the worst visibilities will happen between 12 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Thursday; smoke should lift by 9 a.m. to improve visibilities.
According to emergency officials, there may be road closures.
Officials report that the smoke came from an earlier prescribed burn, ignited nearly a month ago.
"The fire has re-ignited in dense vegetation within the original project perimeter producing at times, very dense smoke," officials said."Smoke will continue to concentrate in low-lying areas at night and in the early morning hours. Road closure may be in place."
A press release states electronic signs have been posted along Steed Creek and Half Creek Road warning the public of prescribed fire activity and smoke in the area.
The public is encouraged to use low beams and drive cautiously when dense smoke is present.
Officials released the following information on prescribed burns:
The Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests (FMS) burns on average 55,000-60,000 acres per year to reduce hazardous fuel buildup (grasses and shrubs) reducing the threat of wildfires and its impacts to surrounding communities. Additionally, the use of prescribed fire is beneficial to the fire-adapted ecosystem within South Carolina, including many threatened and endangered species.
Annually, over 500,000 acres of land is burned in the state of South Carolina by a variety of entities. The majority of the prescribed fires in the state occurs on privately owned lands. The South Carolina Forestry Commission maintains a website where everyone can see a map of all planned prescribed fire activities on any day. It is a great tool for residents to become aware of prescribed burn locations and where short-term smoke impacts may occur. The website can be found http://www.trees.sc.gov/scnotifs.htm.