MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Fire danger will remain high in the News13 viewing area due to a dry weather pattern.
The danger will be consistently high in the eastern Carolinas until we get significant regular rain, or vegetation greens up again in the spring. The area is currently in a drought and the pattern looks like it will continue.
November 2021 was the 4th driest November on record in Florence with less than 0.5″ of rain. Since we have had a killing freeze, and our growing season has ended, grasses and weeds have died and are dried out, leaving plenty of dry fuel for wildfires.
In the United States, the eastern Carolinas is one of the regions that is most at risk for large wildfires. We hear often about large fires in the western United States, but we have our own risk here in the Carolinas.
In the past several years, we have had several large, out of control fires in the area.
Weather also plays a part in our fire danger. The lack of rain is the biggest factor, but now that the humidity is gone, the air is much drier than it was in the fall, and that allows fires to spread much faster. Also, windy conditions will also allow small fires to grow quickly.
If our drought persists until spring, we will have to watch fire conditions closely in the late winter and early spring. By late February or March, when we get temperatures back into the 80s with low humidity, the fire danger will be very high, especially with strong winds.
Horry County Fire Rescue was responding to two separate wildfires Tuesday — one in the Little River area and another in the Conway area. Tuesday was also the fourth day of a wildfire on Pilot Mountain in North Carolina.
On Wednesday, burn bans were put into effect in Horry County and Conway.