COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Forestry Commission issued a statewide burn ban effective tomorrow morning.
According to a news release, the burn ban is issued for all South Carolina counties and will be effective starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Forestry officials said the ban prohibits all outdoor burning, which includes burning yard debris, campfires and burning for forestry, wildlife or agricultural purposes in “unincorporated areas.”
“It may seem counterintuitive to call for a burning ban because of the rain that the eastern half of the state is expected to receive from this system over the next few days,” SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones said. “But there are other risk factors influencing this decision-making process.”
According to the release, those factors include elevated drought conditions and the limited firefighting, law enforcement and emergency personnel resources that are committed to hurricane-related response.
“After consultation with Gov. Henry McMaster and other emergency response organizations Tuesday, State Forester Scott Phillips declared the ban to reduce possible wildfire ignitions. The burning ban is primarily intended to ease the strain on firefighting personnel – from both the Forestry Commission and from local fire departments – many of whom were dispatched to coastal regions to assist with evacuation procedures and law enforcement activities, and later, damage assessment and cleanup.”
According to the release, the Forestry Commission has also deployed its own law enforcement and incident management employees to support the state’s coordinated emergency response.
The ban will stay in effect until further notice.