The South Carolina Forestry Commission has placed the state under a red flag warning for outdoor fires.
Weather forecasts for most of the state over the next four days will contribute to the elevated fire danger, according to a commission press release. These conditions include sustained high winds, strong gusts, dry fuels and very low relative humidity.
As a result outdoor fires may escape easily and spread rapidly.
A red flag fire alert does not prohibit outdoor burning as long as all other state and local regulations are followed, but the Forestry Commission strongly encourages residents to voluntarily postpone any such burning until the alert is lifted.
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.
Nearly 50 percent of wildfires in South Carolina are caused by escaped debris burns.
“The convergence of all these particular weather patterns creates very favorable conditions for wildfires,” said Darryl Jones, state Fire Commission fire chief and forest protection director. “With this being a long holiday weekend, with many people off work and doing things outside – including things such as cookouts and debris burning – the potential for danger is even higher.”