Oak Grove, SC (Paul Kirby) – Sunday night, Lexington County firefighters worked with the SC Forestry Commission to bring a large, hard to access brush fire under control. The fire was behind the Bojangles near Augusta Road and I-20. It was burning toward Two Notch Road.
A chief from the fire service had to walk in to find the fire. Once located, he estimated that approximately two acres had already burned. The fire service and the SC Forestry Commission worked together, and eventually brought the fire under control.
Saturday, Lexington County firefighters worked to extinguish multiple fires running parallel to Augusta Road along the railroad tracks. The fires ran approximately from Wattling Road to Dooley Road near I-20. The fires were believed to have been caused by a malfunction on a westbound train. Once the train stopped at the request of the fire service, so did any new brush fires.
Although the fires were brought under control Saturday, firefighters responded to the same locations over and over during the weekend. People smelled smoke or saw small spot fires and called 911. This is not uncommon in densely populated areas.
Large or multiple brush fires are often brought under control but can’t always be completely extinguished. They may produce smoke or small flames for days. Fire hides in stumps, heavy fuels like pine straw, and sometimes even underground in combustible fuels.
Over the weekend, people smelled smoke or saw small fires, often smaller than a campfire, along Augusta Road, and called for the fire service. This doesn’t mean that the fires from Saturday were out of control again.
What is considered a fire that’s out of control one might ask. You might also wonder when you should dial 911. Any fire outside areas blackened by the original fire should be reported. This also applies to fires that have crossed plowed fire breaks, are burning utility poles, railroad crossties, or climbing up tree's trunks toward the tree’s top. Firefighters need to be aware of these.
Experts in woods fires never want you to walk into the woods or brush to investigate the smell of smoke or flames yourself. If you’re uncomfortable about what you see from a safe area, call the fire service. They are well equipped with the correct protective gear, equipment, and tools to investigate brush fires, just like they have all weekend.