COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) — The South Carolina Forestry Commission is issuing a statewide Red Flag Fire Alert, effective at 7 a.m. Friday, March 10.
The purpose of the alert is to discourage people from doing any outdoor burning when weather conditions present an elevated risk of wildfire.
Weather forecasts for most of the state over the next three days include stronger-than-normal wind gusts and very low relative humidity, all of which combine with dry fuels on the ground to create the potential for outdoor fires escaping easily and spreading rapidly.
“Today was one of the busiest fire days we’ve seen in a while – [more than 50 active fires statewide] – and it’s because the conditions that led us to issue a Red Flag alert last weekend haven’t changed much,” said Darryl Jones, SCFC Fire Chief. “We’re asking that people voluntarily postpone any burning they’ve planned because the wind speeds and relative humidity over much of the state through the weekend will create an elevated potential for fire danger.”
A Red Flag Fire Alert does 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 alert will remain in effect until lifted by the Commission, whose fire response teams will continuously monitor the situation throughout the weekend.