SCFC: Brush fire continues to burn, crews work to maintain - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

SCFC: Brush fire continues to burn, crews work to maintain

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Embers from Carolina Forest brush fire sparks new one Monday afternoon Embers from Carolina Forest brush fire sparks new one Monday afternoon
Embers from Carolina Forest brush fire sparks new one Monday afternoon Embers from Carolina Forest brush fire sparks new one Monday afternoon

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - SC Forestry officials say smoldering embers from the brush fire that started Sunday near International Drive in Carolina Forest started another fire in Horry County.

That fire continues to burn and forced fire crews to return out to the scene Tuesday morning.

According to the South Carolina Forestry Commission, the brush fire that ignited Monday afternoon had burned 35-40 acres as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. Apparently embers from Sunday's fire blew about a half a mile to another part of the forest and ignited just before 4 p.m. Monday.

On Monday, crews has 11 units on the ground actively working to suppress the blaze. By late  Monday, crews stopped the progression of the fire but were unable to contain it. The burned areas should be regarded as extremely hazardous and officials warn the public to avoid these areas.

Three Forestry Commission bulldozers were working in the area around the fire that burned on Sunday when the new fire ignited Monday afternoon. Those three bulldozers immediately moved to the new fire about half a mile west. Five more bulldozers from the forestry commission later joined in the effort Monday afternoon to clear an area around the burning fire. A spotter plane circling the flames helped firefighters identify where the fire was located and where it was moving.

Initially the fire was slowly moving toward Highway 90, however, flames were still two to three miles away from any homes, and the Forestry Commission did not feel any homes were threatened. The fire eventually began moving more toward International Drive, meaning there is even less threat to homes.

As of 6:15 p.m. the bulldozers had created a fire break around about 50 percent of the fire, and they continued working to completely contain the fire area.

The fire burned an area of approximately 50 acres Sunday, although some initial estimates were as high as 75 acres. A crew was out at the scene Monday morning with a GPS to attempt to determine just how much had burned.

Hawkins said Monday morning that while the fire was contained, officials could not say for sure it would stay controlled due to the soil in the area. Hot spots still burning Monday ignited, causing the Forestry Commission to again battle the blaze.

Not far down the road from the fire, homeowners at The Farm community saw the pillar of black smoke rising from the sky Sunday afternoon. The sight brought back memories of the Horry County Wildfire that devastated parts of North Myrtle Beach just two years ago. The location of the two fires were too close for comfort.

"I just saw this big plume of smoke," said Allen Armstrong. "It was eerily similar to what we saw two years ago with that big brush fire. The wind tends to blow the same direction, so we saw the smoke going the same way as that fire."

The Forestry Commission has not yet determined a cause or origin for the fire that started Sunday.

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