South Carolina Forestry Commission
News Release

January 26, 2010


(Columbia,SC)–-Despite recent rains and the recovery from the state’s years-long drought, the state Forestry Commission is sounding the call for readiness as South Carolina enters its wildfire season.  SCFC staff will be going door-to-door distributing informational materials and SCFC law enforcement will be conducting burn site inspections.  SC residents are encouraged to help out by reporting any suspicious smoke or burning to 911 or 1-800-777-FIRE (3473).  South Carolina’s wildfire season runs in the later part of the winter through early weeks of spring.

Running the “trapline”

Commission employees around the state will be distributing informational materials highlighting wildfire dangers, steps to protect homes and businesses, and the elements of safe yard debris burning (below).  “Think before you burn” is their motto.  Mike Bozzo, SCFC prevention coordinator said, “It’s our goal to raise awareness that wildfires caused by careless yard debris burning pose a serious threat to homes each year.”  “In fact,” Bozzo added, “forty percent of all wildfires in South Carolina are caused by debris burning.”

Here are some safe debris burning tips:

 Burn site inspections

The Forestry Commission’s law enforcement staff will be conducting burn site inspections.  Residents conducting outdoor burns may be visited by these officers.  Our personnel will advise them on the safety and legality of their burn and offer tips for making them comply with SCFC standards.  Flagrant violations will result in a citation. 

On-going effort

The wildfire threat doesn’t end when our public campaign winds down.  South Carolinians are urged to be vigilant all year long to help spot and report wildfires.  Remember, South Carolina’s wildfire season is late winter through early spring when flammable ground litter is dry, residents are burning yard waste or lighting fires for warmth, and the relative humidity is low.   

Who:  The South Carolina Forestry Commission
When:  Now through wildfire season (late winter/early spring)
Where:  Statewide
Why:  Annual campaign made even more poignant after last year’s historic wildfire in Horry County, SC.




For more information, contact Scott Hawkins at (803) 896-8820.


 The SC Forestry Commission’s mission is to protect and develop South Carolina’s forest resource.  For every $1.00 invested by SC in the Commission, the industry produces more than $1,300.00 of economic impact.


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