Residents raise concerns about outdoor burning near homes in Horry County

Residents raise concerns about outdoor burning near homes in Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Leaders are closer to changing an ordinance that regulates where open burning can happen in unincorporated areas of Horry County.

The current ordinance states that open burning is not allowed in major residential developments.

The Horry County Council passed the second reading on Tuesday night that would change the ordinance. It would instead do away with major residential developments and instead prohibit outdoor burning within 50 feet of any structure or parcel line.

The amended ordinance must go through one more reading before it is enacted.

The issue was raised when people in the Little River neck area became concerned that the current ordinance didn’t adequately protect them, and that there are limited ways in and out of the area in case of a wildfire.

An interagency open burning work group was formed to look into the issue, which included South Carolina Forestry Commission, Horry County Fire Rescue and Horry County Planning and Zoning. They came up with a recommendation that covered more areas that were at a heightened risk of wildfires and proposed an alternate way of looking at regulating open burning.

During Tuesday night’s council meeting, residents said they were also tired of trash and other items being burned near their home.

Horry County Fire Rescue leaders spoke during the meeting and told residents to alert them about illegal burning. HCFR has the authority to write a ticket if they discover that someone is illegally burning. If someone is caught illegally burning, it could cost them up to $200.

HCFR said it will be getting with the Horry County Police Department to figure out a ticketing process in order to enforce the new burning ordinance, so they don’t have to keep going back to repeat offenders.

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