The South Carolina Forestry Commission has declared a statewide burning ban beginning on April 7.
The ban prohibits burning yard debris; prescribed or controlled burns; and campfires or any other recreational open burning outside of city or town limits.
After consulting with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, state forester Scott Phillips ordered the burn ban in the interest of public safety amid the COVID-19 virus public health threat. Smoke can exacerbate coronavirus symptoms in those infected as well as trigger underlying respiratory issues in unaffected individuals, resulting in symptoms similar to the coronavirus.
“With known coronavirus infections increasing in all 46 counties of the state, we simply cannot continue to allow legal burning under these unprecedented circumstances,” said Phillips. “Reducing outdoor burning will also minimize the strain on local fire departments and other first responders who need to remain available for other COVID-19 response activities.”
The ban will stay in effect until further notice.