State fire crews plan to treat 10 state parks with controlled burns this winter to reduce hazardous fire fuels that cause wildfires and to improve habitat conditions for wildlife and recreation.
The parks are:
- Devils Fork in Salem (up to 200 acres)
- Oconee in Mountain Rest (up to 280 acres)
- Keowee-Toxaway in Sunset (up to 450 acres)
- Table Rock in Easley (up to 75 acres)
- Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site in Union (up to 22 acres)
- Cheraw State Park in Cheraw (up to 2,000 acres)
- Aiken State Park in Aiken (up to 570 acres)
- Barnwell State Park in Barnwell (up to 170 acres)
- Hampton Plantation State Historic Site in McClellanville (up to 230 acres)
- Givhans Ferry State Park in Ridgeville (up to 300 acres)
Trails and roads in and around these parks can be affected during burns. Any closures will be temporary and clearly posted. Because the scheduling of controlled burns is entirely dependent on weather conditions, immediate advance notice is provided only to local fire and law enforcement officials.
Immediately after a controlled burn, the area can look raw and desolate - this is only temporary, as new vegetation soon greens up the forest floor within as little as a few days or weeks.
Safety is a primary concern during any controlled burn. The fire experts assigned to these burns are highly trained and have years of experience protecting communities, themselves and the land they are working to restore. Experienced fire specialists will closely monitor local weather conditions, such as wind, temperature, and humidity, making adjustments in the schedule as needed to insure the safety of local residents and crewmembers. Prior to lighting the burn, crews construct firebreaks to ensure the fire does not leave the burn area. The burns will mimic historic, low intensity natural fires as much as possible.
Click here to find out more about controlled burns at other state parks this season. To learn more about controlled burning throughout South Carolina, visit the S.C. Forestry Commission’s website.