Columbia, S.C. - April 23, 2009 - Governor Sanford today issued a State of Emergency for Horry County as a wildfire that has already consumed 15,000 acres and destroyed an estimated 70 homes continued.
The state Forestry Commission is the primary agency in charge of fighting the fire, and the state Emergency Management Division has also deployed support assets to the scene in consultation with the Governor's Office. The state Emergency Operations Center has been activated, with assets dispatched to fight the fire including a National Guard helicopter and other personnel.
State and local officials have already evacuated 2,500 people from their homes, and may evacuate more as the fire continues to spread. Three shelters to accommodate those leaving their homes have been opened, and those shelters are currently housing approximately 250 people.