SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) — According to the National Weather Service’s Greer office, an increased fire danger will linger across the Upstate, Western North Carolina and Northeast Georgia through 8 p.m. Wednesday

According to NWS forecasters, low dew points – which essentially mean relatively dry air – and dry fuel on the ground have created conditions right for fires. Accordingly, firefighters are urging caution for those who plan to burn.

Under South Carolina law, people who wish to burn yard waste must first notify the state’s Forestry Commission. To find your county’s toll-free number, click here.

“It could be a matter of moments before it turns from a grass fire, a brush fire, into a structure fire,” Westview-Fairforest Fire Department Captain Bob Grizzle said.

Firefighters call grass, brush, twigs and leaves ’10-hour fuel;’ if left in the sunlight for 10 hours these items become perfect fuel for fires and can contribute to rapid spread of flames.

Grizzle said people planning a fire should begin by clearing out all 10-hour fuel from around their burn pit.

“Anytime that it would get out of the confines of that area, we would ask them to go ahead and call 911 and get us on the way,” he said. “Again, the wind picks up, you could have a small fire grow into a very large fire at that time.” 

Rain chances return to the area Thursday.