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SCFC Statement: Statewide Red Flag Fire Alert in effect this weekend

Outdoor burning discouraged because of weather conditions, elevated fire risk

Columbia, SC - The South Carolina Forestry Commission is issuing a state​wide Red Flag Fire Alert, effective at 12 p.m. today.

The purpose of the alert is to discourage people from doing any outdoor burning when weather conditions present an elevated risk of wildfire. Weather forecasts for most of the state over the next three days include stronger-than-normal wind gusts and very low relative humidity, all of which combine with dry fuels on the ground to create the potential for outdoor fires escaping easily and spreading rapidly.

“We’re going to see very favorable conditions for wildfire ignitions this weekend, particularly with the relative humidity values, which will remain low at least until next week,” said Darryl Jones, SCFC Fire Chief. “With the otherwise nice weather this weekend, we just want people who may be working in their yards or enjoying the outdoors to be aware of the elevated potential for fire danger.”

A Red Flag Fire Alert does not prohibit outdoor burning, provided that all other state and local regulations are followed, but the Forestry Commission strongly encourages citizens to voluntarily postpone any such burning until the alert is lifted. However, a Red Flag Fire Alert does trigger certain county or local ordinances that restrict outdoor fires, so residents should contact their local fire departments to check whether such restrictions apply in their areas.

The alert will remain in effect until lifted by the Commission, whose fire response teams will continuously monitor the situation throughout the weekend.

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