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Wildfires Sweep The Southeast

Wildfires burning across the southern Appalachians, including one on Pinnacle Mountain in Table Rock State Park, resulted in a thick layer of smoke that covered most of the state on Thursday and Friday. Smoke could be seen across Clemson, and Fike Recreation Center was forced to close at 4pm on 

Friday due to degraded air quality in the facility. 

Officials with the South Carolina Forestry Commission say that extended drought conditions and low relative humidity have created an optimal atmosphere for wildfires to spread. Despite Sunday’s rain, the fire grew an additional 500 acres 

overnight and is now about 2200 acres in size.

On Saturday, the Forestry Commission recommended an evacuation of residents who live just south and southwest of Pinnacle Mountain. 

Officials emphasized that residents were not in imminent danger and that the evacuation is a precautionary measure. Residents were told they could return to their homes on Sunday afternoon. 

In addition, a State Forester’s Burning Ban is in effect for all Piedmont counties. The ban prohibits outdoor burning, which includes the burning of yard debris and burning for forestry, wildlife or agricultural purposes. While campfires and open-fire cooking are not included in the ban, the Forestry Commission is strongly encouraging citizens to refrain from any unnecessary burning.

Arson is suspected in several fires in North Carolina and Georgia, but state forestry officials haven’t made any such indication regarding the Pinnacle Mountain fire.

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