Red Flag fire alert goes into effect tomorrow

Lexington, SC 04/20/2021 - The South Carolina Forestry Commission is calling for a Red Flag Fire Alert for Wednesday and Thursday, April 21 and 22. The alert will go into effect Wednesday at 7 a.m. This includes Lexington County and the entire state of South Carolina.

When a Red Flag Alert is issued by the SC Forestry Commission, Lexington County Burning Ordinance automatically suspends outdoor burning. That rule remains in effect until the Red Flag is lifted.

The alert is being issued to discourage people from burning outdoors when weather conditions present an elevated risk of wildfire. The weather forecast statewide over the next two days calls for stronger-than-normal wind gusts and low relative humidity, creating the potential for outdoor fires to escape easily and spread rapidly. The alert is likely to be lifted after Thursday when relative humidity rises, and overall fire danger abates.

“With the National Weather Service predicting steady winds at 15-20 mph and relative humidity values as low as 25%, we really want to ask people to consider postponing their outdoor burning until the weekend when conditions improve,” said SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones. “Low relative humidity presents enough wildfire risk on its own, but when coupled with sustained winds for two consecutive days, the need for vigilance is very much heightened.”

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 managers will continuously monitor the situation.

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