Red Flag Fire Alert remains in effect for 2 Lowcountry counties

The South Carolina Forestry Commission lifted a statewide Red Flag Fire Alert for 32 counties.
The South Carolina Forestry Commission lifted a statewide Red Flag Fire Alert for 32 counties.(Storyblocks)
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 12:17 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Forestry Commission lifted a statewide Red Flag Fire Alert for 32 counties.

But two Lowcountry counties, Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties, and 11 others, mostly in the Pee Dee region, remain under the alert.

The other counties are Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Marion, Marlboro and Sumter.

Decreasing wind speeds and wind gusts combined with rising relative humidities across much of the state means diminished fire danger, the commission said.

But with a large number of uncontrolled fires in the Pee Dee, however, the agency is still recommending people postpone their outdoor burning plans in the aforementioned counties.

“Since we started seeing an uptick in ignitions last Thursday, the agency has responded to more than 180 wildfires, including 38 after we issued the Red Flag,” SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones said. “The fact that we had so many ignitions speaks to the true danger of outdoor fires escaping easily and spreading rapidly that our alert warned people about.”

Red Flag Fire Alerts are designed to discourage people from doing any outdoor burning as well as help reduce the strain on local fire departments and other first responders who need to remain available for other emergencies.

Red Flag Fire Alerts do not prohibit outdoor burning, provided that all other state and local regulations are followed, but the Forestry Commission strongly encourages citizens to voluntarily postpone any such burning until the alert is lifted.

However, a Red Flag Fire Alert does trigger certain county or local ordinances that restrict outdoor fires, so residents should contact their local fire departments to check whether such restrictions apply in their areas, the Forestry Commission said.

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