This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Horry County wildfires that destroyed more than 70 homes in the Barefoot Resort development and thousands of acres of forest along the SC-31 and SC-22 corridors. Over the past year there have been new ordinances and policies put in place to help to reduce the chances of another wildfire creating the same level of destruction. But even with these new initiatives, the chance of a repeat occurrence is very high.
Consider This: Are you prepared if a wildfire were headed toward the area where you live? The most important thing you can do is have a plan in place to protect yourself and your family. When would you choose to leave and how would you evacuate? These are questions you need to answer now rather than when a fire is approaching your home.
As much as we learned from the 2009 fires that will help with future battles, one thing that hasn't changed is what caused these fires to get out of control in the first place. The fuel that helped these fires spread so fast and furiously - the thick underbrush, pine forests and windy conditions - are still there, which means the chances of another wildfire are very high.
Yes, our firefighting methods and prevention efforts may have improved, but the best thing you can do at a personal level is follow the motto of the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.