Forestry Commission issues red flag alert for SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- The South Carolina Forestry Commission on Friday night issued a red flag alert for the entire state, citing gusty winds and low relative humidity as the reason.{}

The combination of winds gusting at 30 mph and the low humidity could help start and spread wildfires.{}

A Red Flag Fire Weather Alert does not outlaw burning debris in unincorporated jurisdictions of the state, the SCFC said, but it does strongly advise waiting until a safer time to burn.{}Nearly half of all wildfires in the state begin as escaped debris burns, the SCFC said.

Some local codes do ban burning during red flag warnings, though.{}

The Forestry Commission issues red flags when weather conditions support the spread of fire, outdoor activities are expected to rise -- like the warm weekend forecasted for the Lowcountry -- and allocation of agency resources is strained.{}

"This week,{}Williamsburg{}County suffered a nearly 400-acre wildfire which required the use of seven SCFC tractor plow fire suppression units. SCFC's capacity to respond to wildfire is sorely tested when these weather conditions persists on a statewide level," the agency said.{}

This alert remains in effect until lifted by the{}South Carolina Forestry Commission.