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Thursday marks 12 years since destructive Hwy. 31 wildfire

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:27 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – On the 12-year anniversary of one of the most destructive wildfires in South Carolina history, firefighters are urging residents to use caution whenever they do outside burning.

On April 22, 2009, a fire off Highway 31 in Horry County started due to a man burning debris on his property.

The fire spread fast, scorching nearly 20,000 acres, destroying 76 homes and damaging 97 others. The flames forced 4,000 Horry County residents from their homes.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt during this incident, but the reason the fire started was that someone decided to burn debris and didn’t take the proper precautions to stay safe!” a Thursday post on the Myrtle Beach Fire Department’s Facebook page stated.

The 12-year anniversary of the Highway 31 wildfire came one day after a large outdoor fire in Loris damaged at least two structures, threatened several others and led to several residents being temporarily evacuated from their homes.

RELATED: ‘It’s horrible:’ Residents evacuated as crews battle large outdoor fire in Loris

On Thursday, the Loris fire was still an “active scene,” but evacuated parties were able to return to their homes, fire officials said.

Horry County remains under an outdoor burn ban due to current weather conditions.

“Please be cautious anytime you burn in the county, and remember that there is no open burning in the City of Myrtle Beach at any time,” the MBFD’s Facebook post stated

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