Firefighters keep watch over two brush fires started on Tuesday - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Firefighters keep watch over two brush fires started on Tuesday

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Firefighters kept watch over two of Tuesday's brush fires by watering down hot spots and expanding the line around the fires.

On Wednesday, Horry County firefighters said hot temperatures, size and locations made fighting two brush fires difficult Tuesday afternoon.

There was one fire off of Highway 9 and one off of Russell Road in Conway. Firefighters say the fire off of Russell road was caused by an ATV. The woman driving the ATV said she was on the vehicle with small children, ages two to five years old, and she did not realize the ATV caught fire because it was so hot outside. Once she realized, the woman says she took the kids and ran as fast as she could. The fire grew up to eight acres. 

Firefighters say these brush fires get out of control very quickly, and people need to be ready to evacuate quickly.

"Once you get one thing going, and it gets the next thing, and it builds and builds, and then once you get the heavy fuels going like the logs, that you saw there, the dead trees, then you have a real problem," Captain Tim Rainbolt explained.

Captain Rainbolt, with Horry County Fire Rescue, also heads up the Wild Fire Team. Wednesday afternoon, he worked to put out the spots that still burned from Tuesday's fire off of Russell Road. Rainbolt says now is a crucial time for brush fires, because it's so dry, and wants to remind people to be fire-wise.

"Basically just good lawn maintenance, making sure you know, shrubs are cut back, you're bunked up - what I mean by that is, a lot of times we tell them to go six feet up so so when the fire runs up through the tree, it can't get latter fuels and climb up into the canopy,"

Rainbolt says they've also been pushing their "ready, set, go" method.

"Whatever you need, everything's been pre-prepped, so once that call comes, it's the set part, I'm ready to go, and then the go, is  I go, I've got my place where I'm going to go and be safe. By those folks getting out of those areas, that could potentially be affected, we're able to get all of our apparatus in here," Rainbolt explained.

One of the only ways crews have been able to get to remote areas and get these brush fires under control, Rainbolt says is thanks to their UTV. 

"Where as before, we would send in hand crews, going on foot, you know you're getting about 8 acres right here, that takes a little bit, especially in 110 degree weather," Rainbolt explained. 

Rainbolt says because of its success in fighting brush fires in difficult locations, the department is looking to get two more, which can hold up to 85 gallons each, with two hose connections.

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