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State issues burning ban

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By Mark Manicone

The S.C. Forestry Commission has issued a statewide burning ban until futher notice.
The ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including yard debris burning, campfires and burning for forestry, wildlife or agricultural purposes in all unincorporated areas.
While open-fire cooking isn’t part of the ban, the forestry commission is advising all citizens to be vigilant until the notification gets lifted.
SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones said many people wouldn’t expect the ban with much of the state on the verge of getting drenched with rain from Hurricane Florence. The ban, however, has nothing to do with fire danger. 
“Many firefighting and emergency personnel and resources are committed to hurricane-related response,” he said in a release.
The ban, Jones noted, eases the strain on 30 foresty commission firefighters dispatched to the Pee Dee and coastal regions to help with evacuations and law enforcement activities, as well as assisting with post-storm damage assessment and cleanup.
Weather forecasts over the next few days also call for higher-than-normal wind gusts prior to the arrival or rain. When combined with recent dry conditions, that creates the potential for outdoor fires escaping easily and spreading rapidly.