SC Forestry Commission issues statewide Red Flag Fire Alert

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Forestry Commission will implement a Red Flag Fire Alert for the state beginning Monday at 6:00 a.m.

State fire officials said the alert aims to discourage people from burning outdoors when weather conditions present an elevated risk of wildfire.

The SC Forestry Commission has recorded 106 wildfires that have burned more than 1,500 acres between Thursday and Saturday.

“Adding to a busy season that has already seen more wildfires in the first three months of 2022 than all of last fiscal year,” the agency said.

“One of our major concerns in addition to the elevated fire danger itself is that fire activity may exceed our capacity to respond. These conditions could create a scenario where we have more fires than we have resources,” said SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones. “The increase in fires is something we expect and plan for at the start of spring every year, but strong winds can really push fire danger to its limit, and we’re seeing that now.”

Officials said high winds and gusts, combined with the very dry fuels on the ground, are also leading to re-ignitions of previously contained fires. 

A Red Flag Fire Alert does not prohibit outdoor burning. 

The agency uses the alert to strongly encourage citizens to voluntarily postpone any such burning until the alert is lifted.