Wildfire task force holds public presentation


NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Highway 31 Wildfire Task Force is inviting the public to a formal presentation of the events surrounding the recent wildfire.

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in Premier Resorts at Barefoot Resort Lakeside Conference Center.

Along with task force members, representatives from the City of North Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the South Carolina Forestry Commission will participate in the presentation.

After the recent Highway 31 wildfire, which impacted the Barefoot Resort community, Mayor Marilyn Hatley appointed City Councilman Greg Duckworth, who represents the Windy Hill and Barefoot Resort regions of the City, and Hank Thomas, City Councilman at Large, to spearhead an effort to review the events surrounding the wildfires. They created the Highway 31 Wildfire Task Force. The group's goal is to study data surrounding the fire that caused more than $19 million in damage to Barefoot Resort homes.

Task force members developed a timeline of events in order to show a true accounting of the "who, what, when, where, why and how" of the fire, including the events, people and agencies involved.

The Highway 31 Wildfire Task Force will present its findings to government officials, area agencies, media and the public at Thursday's meeting. The task force also will present recommendations and action items to the community in order to mitigate future wildfire disasters.

Bob Portteus, whose home was destroyed in the wildfire, attended the meeting.

"We have to ask questions, but we also have to move forward," he said.

About 350 people attended the meeting.

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