HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) — Personnel with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources are assisting State Forestry Commission and Horry County Fire and Rescue crews working to contain a forest fire at Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area near Myrtle Beach in Horry County.
Officials say the fire is believed to have started in the early morning hours of Friday, June 24. Approximately 50 acres of the 10,427-acre preserve have been burned. Fire crews have worked throughout the day creating breaks around the fire, and as of 1 p.m. Friday, SCFC officials were reported the blaze was about 40% contained. No current danger to homes in the nearby Carolina Forest subdivision is expected, though they also cautioned that wind and other conditions could change quickly.
DNR staff is monitoring the situation closely, and will continue to offer assistance with manpower and equipment as needed or requested by SCFC or county agencies.
Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve contains 23 ecologically sensitive “Carolina Bays” – the largest number of undisturbed Carolina Bays in one place in South Carolina. Carolina Bays are elliptical or oval depressions of uncertain origin found in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Delaware. They are considered to be isolated, freshwater wetlands. The unique bay habitat is home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife, including several rare and endangered species.