Statewide burning ban issued as SCFC responds to Hurricane Florence

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(WSPA) — A burning ban is in effect for South Carolina as Hurricane Florence barrels towards the coast.

The S.C. Forestry Commission says the burning ban takes effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12. The ban is in effect until further notice. 

According to the National Hurricane Center, the category 4 storm is expected to approach the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday and bring dangerous storm surge and rainfall to parts of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states. 

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The ban prohibits all outdoor burning. Forestry officials say that includes burning yard debris, campfires and burning for forestry, agricultural or wildlife purposes in unincorporated areas. People are also advised to be careful with open-fire cooking, which is not banned.

“Many people may wonder why a burning ban is necessary when about half the state is expected to receive so much rain from the hurricane. We’re issuing the ban not solely because of elevated fire danger, but rather because so many firefighting and emergency personnel and resources are committed to hurricane-related response,” SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones said in a statement.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Forestry Commission has deployed more than 30 people to help with the emergency response to Hurricane Florence. 

The agency says winds gusts expected over the coming days could increase the risk of outdoor fires rapidly spreading or escaping. 

The ban will remain in effect until the Forestry Commission announces it has been lifted.

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