COLUMBIA — The statewide Red Flag Alert issued over the weekend has been lifted by the S.C. Forestry Commission. Fire favorable weather conditions changed to include rain, higher relative humidity values, decreased winds, and cooler temperatures.
These conditions also alleviate some of the strain on Forestry Commission equipment and personnel.
According to the S.C. Forestry Commission, there were three fires in Fairfield County over the weekend with the largest being 8.5 acres and causing $400 in property loss. Those fires were handled by SCFC personnel. Winds with gusts up to 30 mph and dry conditions caused the state to be placed under a Red Flag Alert over the weekend.
Michael Kirkland, director of the Fairfield County Emergency Management Department, said there was a brush fire off Newberry Road to which Lebanon, Community and Blackstock fire departments responded. There also was a small fire off I-77 that was caused by a truck dragging a loose chain. The resulting sparks set off a brush fire and Greenbrier Fire Department responded to that fire.
The three Fairfield County fires involved burning debris. SCFC reminds residents that debris burning, even where allowed, leads to nearly half of all wildfires in South Carolina.
Kirkland said that residents can call 1-800-986-5162 prior to burning to seek advice from the professionals at SCFC. Also, they should have hose pipe and water available at the site of the burn. State law requires that SCFC be notified before a burn unless one is in town or city limits where other ordinances and restrictions might apply to burning.