Gilbert, SC (Paul Kirby) – A large woods fire off Hyler Road between Gilbert and Hollow Creek required the cooperation of the Lexington County Fire Service and the SC Forestry Commission to bring it under control. Hyler Road is west of Priceville Road between Hwy. 1 and the Twin Bridges area of the county.
Lexington County had fire equipment from several of its stations arrive first on the scene. Soon after the first firefighters pulled up, a report was made that as much as five acres could be burning driven by a steady wind. More specially equipped brush trucks were requested as were water tankers and manpower. The county’s 911 Communications Center also quickly notified the SC Forestry Commission who sent a truck and operator with a tractor plow unit. Those bulldozers have a special pull-behind implement that rolls away the ground cover and cuts down to bare dirt to trap the fire inside an earthen break. They also are equipped with blades that can push dead trees and other organic debris away from the break. This ensures nothing falls across to the un-burned side, setting the fire off again.
Several woods fires were burning in other areas at approximately the same time. One on Calcutta Drive in the Charwood subdivision was quickly put out and another on Bluefield Road required some effort and resources from the fire service to bring it under control. Eventually, Lexington County had enough equipment on scenes that they moved some equipment around to staff empty response areas whose trucks and personnel were committed at the fires. The Batesburg-Leesville Fire Department responded with several trucks into the county to assist as well.
Melissa Hyler, a resident of the area, said via social media that the fire was near a welding fabrication shop close to her home. Cindy Turner, another resident of the area, expressed relief when the fire was out, and the Forestry Commission’s plowed line had it completely encircled. She said she lived off Hyler and was worried about her property and belongings.
Lexington County has said that in total, seven acres burned along with two out buildings that were destroyed. The cause of the fire hasn’t been released.