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Outdoor burning ‘strongly’ discouraged

    Fire officials in Horry and Columbus counties are asking citizens to refrain from any outdoor burning, at least through the weekend, because of the high potential for wildfire.
    Dry conditions, low humidity and wind are a dangerous recipe that could have disastrous consequences for anyone attempting to burn outdoors, Battalion Chief Brian VanAernem of Horry County Fire Rescue said in a news release.
    Tabor City Fire Chief Jerry Hodges echoed those concerns.
    “We definitely people not to be doing any outside burning now,” Hodges said. “We would like to strongly encourage people not to burn.”
    Although we have had plenty of rain and the ground is saturated, the top fuels like grass and light brush were quickly dried out by all the recent winds,” VanAernem said. “These fuels are very quick to burn and just a slight breeze can cause a small debris fire to quickly get out of control.”
    State regulations on open burning must always be followed. Look here for South Carolina information, and here for North Carolina.
    “Anyone who decides to burn must understand that they are responsible for their fire,” VanAernem said. “Often we respond to a fire that was set the day before and the owner says that it was out. Hot ash will smolder for several hours even a day or so and all it takes is a slight wind gust to blow the ash out causing a fire. So please make sure all fires are put completely out with water.”

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