BOILING SPRINGS, S.C. – Fire officials said Wednesday’s weather conditions in the Upstate present an elevated risk for wildfires.
The howling sound of cold wind is sweeping over the Upstate.
“When we get cold weather like this, that’s Arctic air coming down and it’s very dry, so that takes any kind of moisture out of fuels on the ground,” Stephen Eleaver, a firefighter for North Spartanburg Fire Department said.
Leaving grasses, brush, branches, and leaves all parched.
“Right now they are pretty dry, there is no measurable rainfall in the forecast. It kind of seems like conditions are only going to get a little worse, can’t say how bad,” Eleaver added. “Most of the area is in a severe drought- well moderate to severe.”
Making conditions ideal for wildfires.
“High winds, humidity plays a big part in it… the longer it stays dry the worse the fires are going to be,” Eleaver said. “Most of the time when we do get those fronts the winds come up and of course, the wind helps spread the fire.”
So, the North Spartanburg Fire Department is urging folks to be cautious.
“Today the fire danger is high, the Forestry Commission is recommending that people do not burn because there is a high probability that a fire will get out,” Eleaver said. “Even trailers driving down the road, we have a lot of land fields around here and things like that so dragging of chains create sparks and things like that that will ignite wildfires.”
So if you don’t have to do any outdoor burning put if off until the rain washes away the threat of wildfire, “measurable rainfall is going to be our biggest proponent for helping to prevent them around, but we just haven’t received any of that,” Eleaver said.
Eleaver added that wildfire danger is not common in the upstate but it does happen when we get these occasional dry spells.
North Spartanburg Fire Department said there are things you can do to mitigate the risk around your home such as avoiding putting down pine needles, trimming low-hanging tree limbs, and cleaning gutters and the brush around your house.