Residents remember Horry County Wildfire 2 years later

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Two years ago Friday, the Horry County wildfire sparked, destroying homes, and forever changing the North Myrtle Beach Barefoot Community.

In April of 2009, 2500 people evacuated their homes. The fire is the most destructive wildfire in South Carolina history, destroying 76 homes and damaging almost 100 more.

A lot has changed since that night. For one thing, neighbors there have been working to become a community that makes smart decisions to keep wildfires from spreading.

The South Carolina Forestry Commission has taken notice, passing along thousands of dollars in federal grant money for them to help them become a part of their Firewise program.

Many people in Barefoot rebuilt their homes with materials that are less flammable, like brick, rather than something like vinyl siding.

Dave Jenkins, the Barefoot Resort Residential Association's Board President, says many others have replaced their pine straw with mulch. It certainly won't keep a wildfire from happening, but it could keep it from spreading, and keep another wildfire from being so damaging.

"People have moved on with their lives, fortunately nobody was killed or hurt seriously," said Jenkins. "People lost a lot of their lifetime treasures, keepsakes, remembrances, they're gone but the people are still here, and they've rebuilt. I like to say, they're better than ever."

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