Roughly 30-acres of Table Rock State Park were set on fire Friday, as part of a prescribed burn.
According to the South Carolina Forestry Commission, fires like these are controlled and intentionally set in order to help prevent the spread of wildfires.
“We’re greatly reducing the chances of a wildfire in an area,” explained Brad Bramlett, Assistant Regional Forester. “The leaves and twigs on the ground, we think of that as fuel.”
Prescribed burns aren’t new, although they’re now higher priority, according to Bramlett, who pointed across the street Friday when explaining why.
In 2016, Pinnacle mountain went up in flames in what became known as the largest mountain fire in the states history.
“That’s kind of like a career type fire. Once in a lifetime, hopefully,” said Michael Bozzo, the former incident commander of the Pinnacle Mountain Fire.
“We learned from Pinnacle mountain just how fast in dry conditions, once a fire starts, how fast it can move and the amount of acreage that can burn up in a relatively short period of time.”
While there are risks associated with prescribed fires, both Bozzo and Bramlett said they monitor the fire and wind conditions closely to keep everyone safe.
“We’ll patrol it for a while and then once everything is cool, and we feel safe with it, then we’ll leave the area,” said Bramlett.
In South Carolina, every year about 500,000 acres are prescribed burns.