Trash fire burns out of control - - Columbia, South Carolina

Trash fire burns out of control

(Source: Jody Barr) (Source: Jody Barr)

A trash fire blazing on a day state officials asked people to refrain from burning debris got out of control Saturday night in Lee County.

The incident happened around 8:45 p.m. near the intersection of Kelleytown Road and Donovan Grove Road in the small community of Ashland, which is located between Bishopville and Hartsville.

WIS reporter Jody Barr spotted the flames outside the fence in the backyard when he passed by. After calling 911, it took the Lee County Fire Department more than 15 minutes to get the first fire truck on scene and another 20 minutes to start spraying water, Jody reports.

At the time, it appeared firefighters were able to save the house. Two other homes were in the path of the fire.

It is unclear how much damage the fire caused or if any charges will be filed.

On Saturday, the South Carolina Forestry Commission issued a red flag fire weather alert for the entire state effective at midnight.

A statement issued by the commission said weather conditions, including wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour in some areas, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures, would contribute to an elevated fire danger level. The alert will remain in effect until it's lifted by the commission.

The commission said a red flag fire weather alert doesn't outlaw debris burning in most unincorporated jurisdictions, but it is an advisory which strongly encourages residents to postpone burning. Some local ordinances do ban burning during such an alert.

The National Weather Service said highs in the upper 70s were expected for much of the state, with winds gusting to 30 mph and humidity below 30%. The most dangerous conditions for fires to spread were along the coast.

Forestry officials ask anyone thinking about burning yard debris to wait until after it rains again.

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