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Brush fire burns along the banks of Lake Murray near Chapin

Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – A brush fire burned through thick leaves, limbs, and debris alongside the banks of Lake Murray Tuesday afternoon on Summerset Drive off Wessinger Road. This is within a few miles of the county’s Crossroads Fire Station out of Chapin. The fire consumed a fairly large tract, but did relatively little damage to the uninhabited land that had grown thick with an organic litter buildup over the years. It did put up a large column of dark smoke for some time as it consumed the thick blanket that lay along the forest floor.

Several trucks from Lexington County’s Fire Service were on the scene of the fire, but they had difficulty reaching the fire because it was so deep into the woods. Because the fire was moving slowly and wasn’t threatening any homes or other structures, it was allowed to burn until the arrival of a unit from the SC Forestry Commission. Once the commission’s bulldozer and its operator arrived on the scene, he was able to anchor a fire line all the way around the blaze, effectively cutting it off from any unburned fuels and stopped its forward momentum. Although the fire will continue to burn inside that line, it should not be able to spread across to any fresh or unburned ground.

Because the area has been untouched by man for years, the organics have had the opportunity to build up. These types of areas are sometimes prescribe burned in a controlled manner as a way to strengthen the timber on the land or to reduce the chance of another uncontrolled fire in the future.

Summerland Drive is a long dirt road near the Hilton point area of Lexington County. The fire was burning close to the site where the historic Countsville AME Church stood for many years.

Summerland Drive is a long dirt road near the Hilton point area of Lexington County. The fire was burning close to the site where the historic Countsville AME Church stood for many years.

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