South Carolina’s top forestry official declared an outdoor burning ban in the Pee Dee and a red flag fire alert for the rest of the state Tuesday.
A persistent drought, hot temperatures, and a the lack of rain have combined to raise the risk of forest fires particularly high, said Scott Hawkins, spokesman for the South Carolina Forestry Commission.
Couple those facts with state and local fire fighting personnel and equipment stretched to their limits and “the situation is scary,” Hawkins added.
The outdoor burning ban covers unincorporated areas in the 14 counties of the Pee Dee including Lancaster, Kershaw, Sumter, Clarendon, Williamsburg, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Dillon, Marlboro, Chesterfield, Darlington, Marion and Lee counties.
Firefighters are currently battling two persistent blazes in Horry County, Hawkins said.