With the approach of Hurricane Matthew, the South Carolina Forestry Commission has issued a State Forester’s Burning Ban for all counties, effective at 7 am today.
A State Forester’s Burning Ban prohibits outdoor burning, which includes yard debris burning and burning for forestry, wildlife or agricultural purposes. While campfires and openfire cooking are not included in the ban, the Forestry Commission strongly advises all citizens to be extremely vigilant until the ban is lifted.
After consultation with Gov. Nikki Haley and other emergency response organizations Tuesday morning, State Forester Gene Kodama decided to declare the ban to reduce possible wildfire ignitions. This will allow the Forestry Commission and local fire departments to focus on evacuation and other emergency operations.
In addition to performing its normal wildfire suppression operations, the Forestry Commission is deploying about 40 firefighting and law enforcement personnel and resources to coastal regions to support the state’s coordinated evacuation procedures.
The ban will stay in effect until further notice, which will come in the form of an official announcement from the Forestry Commission and SC Emergency Management Division.