NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – This spring will mark 5 years since a fire destroyed 78 homes in North Myrtle Beach. Now Barefoot Resort is taking steps to help make sure their neighborhoods don't suffer that kind of damage again.
It's called Textraw. It's made from 100 percent recycled plastic. The Barefoot Resort community is using it to replace pine straw, a highly flammable type of straw often used in landscaping.
The destruction of the Horry County fire in April 2009, and Windsor Green fire in 2013, won't soon be forgotten. Entire buildings consumed by fire, one by one. Many investigations focused on pine straw as the catalyst that started it all five years ago.
Now barefoot resort in North Myrtle Beach, which was heavily damaged in the 2009 wild fire, is removing pine straw from along the streets in it's neighborhoods and replacing it with Textraw, which, according to it's creators is not flammable.It also lasts an estimated 8 years, and doesn't lose color.
"Did some side by side comparisons, and actually recreated the conditions of the original fire," Textraw Inc. President David Carvin said. "And the pine straw lit up. The Textraw coals and embers that were hot from the fire would melt down through the material instead of catching fire. And we realized that Textraw at that point was a good candidate for Firewise installations."
Firewise is a program that educates homeowners to reduce the risk of losing their homes in a fire. Three HOA-run neighborhoods in Barefoot Resort have started using Textraw around their homes in the last few years.
Carvin says they are going to continue to work to make their product a more appealing landscaping product to people in fire-prone areas like Horry County.
"The Firewise part of it is something that we're still looking into with the research labs in South Carolina in order to see if we can't improve the qualities of Textraw to be flame-proof.
To learn more about Textraw, visit the website here: https://www.textraw.com/.
To learn more about Firewise, and how to keep your home safe from fires, click here: http://www.firewise.org/~/media/Firewise/Files/Pdfs/Toolkit/FW_TK_Tips.pdf.