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South Carolina Wildfire Prevention

Wildfire Prevention efforts have been implemented in historically high fire occurrence areas throughout the state. The wildfire prevention efforts have set the following goals 1) to inform the public of safe debris burning practices to reduce the number of escaped debris fires and 2) to emphasize to property owners their responsibility in protecting their property to reduce the losses due to wildland fire.

The SCFC field personnel have accomplished these goals by implementing strategies which involved a coordinated effort with the local fire departments and by providing assistance to local areas as requested.

The slogan “Think Before You Burn” has been used to address the outdoor burning of debris by local citizens and has been used extensively on posters, brochures, flyers and signs in order to maintain consistency and familiarity with the fire prevention message.

THINK Before You Burn Brochure (pdf)

Debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires annually in South Carolina.


Fiscal Year Number Fires Acres Burned  Percent of Total
2009-10 1,639 8,444  48
2010-11   3,100   22,771   50
2011-12  2,192  16,960   41
2012-13 1,799    10,223   45
2013-14  1,823   9,425  52

A statewide wildfire prevention awareness effort is made across the state prior to the winter/spring wildfire season to promote safe debris burning; the states number one cause of wildfires.  In cooperation with and assistance from local fire departments field personnel throughout the state distribute "Think Before You Burn" promotional materials to schools, businesses and public buildings.  Spanish versions of the Think Before You Burn (TBYB) brochure are also distributed in appropriate areas mainly in the Coastal region.

Interviews are conducted with local media, public service announcements are distributed and burn demos conducted to show the proper way to conduct an outdoor yard debris burn.  Think Before you Burn posters are hung in country stores and Think Before you Burn brochures were distributed throughout the state.  Outdoor burning notification magnets noting the appropriate phone number by county are distributed statewide.  Field personnel utilized trap lines in every county to distribute the TBYB materials especially to those communities situated in high-fire occurrence areas; communities at risk in the wildland urban interface.



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