No property was damaged during a brush fire Monday in southern Beaufort County, but South Carolina forestry officials say weather conditions make any such blaze dangerous.
It took Bluffton Township Fire District crews about an hour to extinguish a brush fire that started at about 4 p.m. on Persimmon Street near the Bluffton Police headquarters, district spokesman Capt. Randy Hunter said. No injuries were reported and no structures were threatened, he added.
Fire officials have not determined the cause of the fire, which spread quickly because of high winds and low humidity, Hunter said.
Those conditions prompted the S.C. Forestry Commission and the National Weather Service to ask residents throughout the state not to burn outdoors Monday. There is no outright burning ban, but officials say allowing a fire to get out of control can lead to fines and court costs of $450 or more.
State Forestry Commission spokesman Scott Hawkins said firefighters responded to about 220 fires over the Presidents Day weekend, bringing the statewide total for February to 447. Some fire crews in northern Beaufort County have responded to more than 30 brush fires so far this year, according to Burton Fire District spokesman Daniel Byrne. County fire officials urge residents to start burn piles at least 50 feet away from any building or trees.
They also say residents should watch where burning embers land and have a water source, such as a hose, ready that can reach the entire burn area.