South Carolina burn ban issued

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2019

South Carolina Forestry Commission issues ban ahead of Hurricane Dorian

SOUTH CAROLINA—South Carolina residents should take not that there is currently a burn ban effective across the state. 

The ban was effective at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. 

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The South Carolina Forestry Commission issued a state forester’s burning ban for all counties throughout the state because of Hurricane Dorian, which was expected to affect the South Carolina coast to Columbia, S.C. with high winds and rain beginning early Thursday morning. 

A state forester’s burning ban means that all outdoor burning is prohibited. The ban includes yard debris, campfires and burning for forestry, wildlife or agricultural purposes in unincorporated areas of the state. 

One of the reasons for the ban is current elevated drought conditions over much of South Carolina and that firefighters, law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel will be scarce because they will be helping in hurricane-related 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, but there are other risk factors influencing this decision-making process,” said SCFC Chief Darryl Jones. 

Another reason for the statewide ban is that the eastern half of the state is expected to receive higher than normal wind and gusts. Winds with elevated drought conditions create the potential for outdoor fires escaping and spreading rapidly. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, Hurricane Dorian was still scraping the coast of Florida as a Category 2 Hurricane. The hurricane was expected to turn northwest slightly and remain a Category 2 as it goes up the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. 

The main threat to the coasts are storm surge, which was expected to be between 5-10 feet in most areas. The hurricane could make landfall in the Myrtle Beach area on Thursday. 

The foothills area is not expected to be affected besides some clouds and light winds over the next couple of days. Rain is not forecast for the Landrum/Polk County areas until next Tuesday.