Forestry Commission issues burning ban for Upstate

COLUMBIA—The South Carolina Forestry Commission has expanded its State Forester’s Burning Ban from five Upstate counties to all Piedmont counties, effective at 6 p.m. The counties covered by the ban include Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Union and York.

State Forester Gene Kodama expanded the ban this afternoon because of weather conditions in the Piedmont region that present an elevated risk of wildfire. The diversion of additional agency resources to a fast-growing wildfire in Pickens County also contributed to the expansion of the burning ban.

A wildfire on Pinnacle Mountain at Table Rock State Park has grown from 15 to 250 acres in the last 24 hours owing to these dangerous fire weather conditions. The agency is sending extra firefighters to the area in addition to deploying its Type II Incident Management Team.

Forecasts for the aforementioned counties over the next few days include extremely low relative humidities, which, combined with dry fuels on the ground, create the potential for outdoor fires escaping easily and spreading rapidly.

A State Forester’s Burning Ban prohibits outdoor burning, which includes yard debris burning and burning for forestry, wildlife or agricultural purposes. While campfires and open-fire cooking are not included in the ban, the Forestry Commission strongly encourages all citizens in the five counties to refrain from any unnecessary burning.

Residents in counties not subject to the burning ban are cautioned to be extremely vigilant when burning yard debris and/or conducting prescribed burns. State law requires that citizens outside of unincorporated areas notify the Forestry Commission before burning outdoors. The notification is a quick, easy, automated process, and the toll-free numbers for each county are provided at the link below:

http://www.state.sc.us/forest/fyard.htm

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