Update on Myrtle Beach, SC fire

UPDATE at 5:02 p.m. ET, April 24

More information is emerging about the origin of the Highway 31 fire in Myrtle Beach.  As Wildfire Today reported earlier, a man was issued two citations for allowing his debris burn to escape which may have ignited the main fire.  The Sun News is reporting that the person’s name is Mark Torchi and he originally conducted the burn on Saturday.  It got out of control then.  He called 911 and the fire department came to put it out.  On Wednesday the burn rekindled and turned into the 19,600 acre fire burning now.

The South Carolina Forestry Commission said they would release more details about the cause and origin of the fire later today.


UPDATE at 1:00 p.m. ET, April 24

The weather today could challenge firefighters due to an unusually strong sea breeze.  Forecasters expect a south wind at 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph to push the fire to the north where homes in the Poplar community near S.C. 90 may be threatened.


UPDATE at 9:00 a.m. ET, April 24

This map of the fire in North Myrtle Beach shows the progression of the fire.

Myrtle Beach fire map

The Highway 31 fire in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has now burned 19,600 acres and is 40 percent contained.  According to North Myrtle Beach Major Marilyn Hatley, 69 homes have been destroyed and 27 have been damaged.  Most of those homes were in the Barefoot Resort area.

Myrtle Beach fire
Horry County police notified residents to leave the Dewitt Road neighborhood as the fire approached. Tom Murry, The Sun News

Resources on the fire include 30 tractor/plow units; 500 personnel including structural fire; 5 National Guard type 1 helicopters; 2 fire tracks type 6; 1 heavy air tanker located at Kinston, NC.

The fire is being managed by the state of South Carolina.  The national Situation Report does not list an incident management team being assigned to the fire. We know for sure that there is no southeast region Type 2 team or a national Type 1 team assigned.

Check yesterday’s post for more information.

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