Fire department reflects on wildfire

By A.J. Ross - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Six months after the wildfire claimed more than 19,000 acres and dozens of homes in Horry County, fire officials say they are looking for ways to improve their operations.

North Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Tom Barstow says the department has been working closely with the South Carolina Forestry Commission to receive additional training to be better prepared should the unexpected occur.

"We've made numerous improvements in the fire service and our evacuation procedures as a result of this fire," Barstow said. "You learn from every fire."

Barstow, who also serves as the emergency manager for the City of North Myrtle Beach, says the city is also now working with the National Weather Service out of Wilmington. Barstow says the city now has the ability to broadcast evacuation warnings through the National Weather Service system.

Horry County Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief Scott Thompson says the county is also working with the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

"We're always looking at ways to do our job better and it's a continuing process," Thompson said. "We're trying to better educate ourselves on modeling those fires and seeing how they might affect our area."

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