PICKENS CO., S.C. (WSPA) – The fire along the Saluda River has run all the way to the top of Rocky Mountain and is still not contained, according to the S.C. Forestry Commission.
A 20-person crew was dispatched to that breakout this morning and began digging hand lines around the new section of fire.
So far, they have made their way around three-quarters of the proposed line around the northern break, and they say the line is holding.
The Forestry Commission has called in two CL-415 amphibious water scooping aircraft, which arrived in the area of the fire at about 3:30 p.m.
These aircraft are scooping water from Lake Jocassee to the west of the fire, and are able to drop 1,600 gallons of water at a time.
A Black Hawk and a Chinook helicopter have been dropping water on the fire all day.
The lines along the entire eastern perimeter of the containment area are holding well, according to SCFC officials.
Even though the fire is largely contained, fire continues to burn inside the roughly 5,100-acre perimeter, with 35% contained.
As far as evacuations go, Pickens County Emergency Management officials say they still don’t want evacuees in the area until after noon on Monday.
They plan to lift the evacuation for residents east of the fire after noon on Monday because of good containment on that side of the perimeter.
Citizens are reminded to avoid the Highway 11, Highway 178 North, and South Saluda Road areas to reduce traffic and congestion around the fire area.
Pickens County is encouraging residents to register their contact information with the Code Red Notification System so you can receive emergency alerts in the event of evacuations. You can find more information by clicking here.
Please call the following number for current conditions on evacuations and the status of the fire: (864) 898-5373. The pre-recorded message at this number will be periodically updated to reflect current conditions.