A state fire alert was lifted Wednesday because of recent rainfall, but Hilton Head Island's ban on outdoor burning remains in place.
Earlier this month, the S.C. Forestry Commission imposed a red-flag fire alert on much of the state, including the Lowcountry, and asked people to postpone outdoor burning.
That alert was lifted after this week's rainfall, which officials said lessened the fire danger.
The National Weather Service received reports Wednesday morning of 1.5 inches of rain on Hilton Head and two inches near Bluffton. Heavy rainfall was predicted into this morning, too.
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But state authorities say the rain hasn't eliminated the fire danger, and Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division officials are waiting to see if dryness returns.
Division spokeswoman Joheida Fister said town ordinance only allows open burning the first and third full weeks each month, meaning the earliest a resident could burn would be Aug. 8.
The ban won't be lifted until immediately before then.
"We'll make a decision that Friday if we'll lift it to allow burning during a burn week," she said.
Once the summer sun returns -- the National Weather Service predicts "excessive heat" beginning today -- it won't take long for trees and grass to dry out, officials say.
"Most of the time, when it's this dry, the rain helps," Fister said. "But then if we continue to have hot weather, it dries it right back out."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow reporter Kyle Peterson at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufortCo.