58 wildfires break out in South Carolina

March 18, 2013 at 7:54 AM
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., March 18 (UPI) -- More than 50 wildfires broke out in South Carolina due to low humidity and high winds, in one instance destroying 100 condominium units, officials said.

As of Saturday evening, 58 wildfires had been reported in the state, and while most of them were small, some covered areas as large as 100 acres, the Aiken Standard reported Sunday.

A fire in Carolina Forest, a community that lies between Myrtle Beach and Conway, quickly overwhelmed the Windsor Green condominium community, the Myrtle Beach Sun reported. The fire consumed 24 buildings, destroying 100 units. Only one building was untouched in the community and two others were partially damaged, the newspaper said.

Resident Laura Younis told the Myrtle Beach Sun she was one of the first ones to call 911 about the fast-moving wildfire. At the time it was two streets away from her condo, which she thought would be safe.

"I didn't grab my computer," she said. "I didn't grab anything. I didn't even grab my purse. I truly thought we would be back."

The South Carolina Forestry Commission issued a Red Flag Fire Weather Alert for the entire state, the Standard reported. In some municipalities, that means a ban on outdoor burning, said Scott Hawkins of the commission.

He said high wind gusts, low humidity and warmer temperatures created the "perfect storm" for wildfires.

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