SC State Parks plan controlled burns to protect forests

February 9, 2024

Columbia, S.C. – State and federal fire crews are planning controlled burns at several South Carolina State Parks to reduce hazardous forest fuels that cause wildfires and improve habitat conditions for wildlife and recreation.

Prescribed burns in the following parks have either recently been conducted or are planned in the coming months:

  • Cheraw State Park in Chesterfield County
  • Devils Fork State Park in Oconee County
  • Keowee-Toxaway State Park in Pickens County
  • Lee State Park in Lee County
  • Oconee State Park in Oconee County
  • Poinsett State Park in Sumter County
  • Ramsey Grove State Park in Georgetown County
  • Table Rock State Park in Pickens County

Several factors that can change from day to day – and even hour to hour – must be considered before conducting a prescribed burn, making it difficult to schedule exact burn dates and times in advance. Ground moisture, resource availability, smoke dispersal, weather, winds, and more are all taken into consideration before determining if conditions are safe for a burn.

When a burn is scheduled, park officials make every effort to notify the public of any disruption to visitor experience. Trails and roads in and around the parks may be temporarily closed during burns, and any closures will be posted.

Burn notifications are posted on the South Carolina Forestry Commission’s website, and immediate notice is provided to local fire and law enforcement officials.

Safety is our 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 closely monitor conditions and adjust the schedule as needed to ensure the safety of local residents and crewmembers. Crews construct firebreaks to ensure the fire does not leave the burn area.

Burns mimic historic natural fires as much as possible. Immediately after a controlled burn, the area may temporarily look raw and desolate. New shoots start to green up the forest floor within as little as a few days or weeks.

To learn more about controlled burning throughout South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Forestry Commission’s website. Learn more about South Carolina State Parks at



Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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