Horry County firefighters prepare for wildfire season

Horry County firefighters prepare for wildfire season

AYNOR, SC (WMBF) – With the seasons changing from winter to spring, Horry County firefighters have responded by putting teams in place as wildfire season starts Tuesday.

This is the season for brush fires to get out of hand quickly and crews aren't taking any chances.

The dry season and strong winds are the perfect mix for wildfires

Officials want to stress that anything can cause a fire to spark in certain weather conditions. With the mix of dry land and heavy winds, crews said just as with hurricane season, residents need to know how to get out if there is a massive wildfire.

"The question that comes up a lot of times in our meetings with Firewise or Ready-Set-Go is where they go," said Lt. Brian Turner, with Horry County Fire Rescue. "The evacuation out is mainly going to be 501 and 22 corridor or use the code red app for any large emergencies in our area."

Horry County Fire Rescue crews have special equipment strategically placed throughout the county to help fight these fires.

The rescue team has invested a lot of money in purchasing equipment and specialized training.

But for Station No. 27 in Aynor, firefighters said it's not just based on the equipment; it's based on getting through to the community.

"A lot of people did't know that Barefoot that when it burned down in North Myrtle Beach, no flames actually touched the houses. It was all embers flying over that caught the community on fire, said Turner.

Because of the Barefoot wildfire that happened in 2009, Turners said that fire crews have been preparing for these types of emergencies.

He's taken part in training out west to fight fires for the past four years. Now, Turner wants to remind homeowners to help out by not using pine straw.

"The other thing is certain trees that you plant around your houses are actually volatile such as wax myrtles or any type of cypresses," said Turner.

If homeowners are doing spring shopping for their yard, firefighters recommend stone or mulch for putting around the residence.

If you own a home in Horry County, fire officials also want you to know what to do in case a brush fire was ever nearby.

To foster education throughout the Grand Strand, firefighters ask community leaders in your area to get involved and give them the opportunity to come out and teach the "READY-SET-GO" program.

For more information on how to be aware, click here.

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