Forestry Commission Offers Clarification Monday Morning Smoke

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Skies are clear now but Monday morning got off to a smoky start for many in The Midlands.

Forest Protection Chief Darryl Jones said the smoke drivers saw on I-20 was smoke left over from two controlled or prescribed burns on Fort Jackson Sunday.

“That burned was planned based on the weather prediction we get from the national weather service. The weather is unpredictable in some ways. The smoke stayed lower than it was expected and the wind actually shifted,” said Jones.

Jones said the burning actually helps maintain habitats for wildlife and decrease the risk of wildfires.

Governor McMaster proclaimed march prescribed fire awareness month. With just a few days under our belt coupled with an active wildfire season, Jones said we can expect to see more smoke.

“We will have 20,000 or so prescribed burns across the state between now and the end of May. The biggest cause of wildfires in our state, 49 percent (almost half), are people trying to burn their back yard leaf piles. State law says you have to notify us. We have a 1-800 number in each county.”

To find your county’s number, click here.

Categories: Local News, News, Richland