COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Forestry Commission issued a statewide Red Flag Fire Alert on Friday.
According to a news release, weather forecasts for the weekend include “stronger-than-normal wind gusts and low relative humidity,” which could create the potential for outdoor fires to spread quickly.
According to a news release, the alert, which is effective immediately, was put in place to discourage people from doing any outdoor burning and will help reduce the strain on local fire departments and first responders who need to remain available for COVID-19 response.
Forestry officials said the alert will be in effect until lifted by the commission and said they will be monitoring weather conditions throughout the weekend.
“These conditions present favorable conditions for wildfire ignitions, particularly the low relative humidity values, which will remain low over the weekend,” SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones said. “With the otherwise nice weather this weekend, we just want people who may be working in their yards or enjoying the outdoors to be aware of the elevated potential for fire danger.”
The alert does prohibit outdoor burning if all other state and local regulations are followed, but the Forestry Commission encourages people to voluntarily put off burning anything until the alert is lifted.
“However, 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,” according to the release.