Large multi-acre brush fire threatens area near Longs Pond and I-20
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) A large multi-acre brush fire consumed approximately 5 acres Tuesday afternoon off Blackjack Oak Lane near Southbrook Drive close to I-20 and Longs Pond Road. This is in central Lexington County close to the new Love’s Travel Plaza and across I-20 from the county’s heavy industrial area that is home to Michelin Tire and several other large plants and businesses.
The fire service dispatched trucks and manpower from many of the stations in the center of the county. Other outlying stations'', equipment, and manpower were moved up to fill in the holes in coverage left by the committed resources. Batesburg-Leesville lent a hand by moving down to Gilbert and other equipment from as far out as Gaston were given stand-by assignments.
Eventually, the on-scene commander requested tractor-plow units from the SC Forestry Commission. They were able to make a fire break around the fire and anchor that line back into an unburned section completely encircling the fire. This is when the fire was marked as contained. Late into the evening, fire personnel were still on the scene working to put out all the hotspots within the break.
The unseasonably cool weather, coupled with a dramatic drop in humidity over the past few days, helped the fire to spread rapidly. Although this makes fighting fire easier on the fire crews, it can have a negative effect on the rate at which a brush fire spreads when fire burning in woods and brush. The county has asked that resident be extremely cautious while burning outdoors, especially during this weather event. Lexington County has ordinances that cover outdoor burning, and anyone who violates those may be subjected to fines as well as civil penalties.