York fire started from controlled burn ashes

Emergency crews from four fire departments worked long hours Saturday night to control a fire they now believe was sparked by week-old embers from a controlled burn.

YORK, S.C. -- Emergency crews from four fire departments worked long hours Saturday night to control a fire they now believe was sparked by week-old embers from a controlled burn.

“Before the burning ban they were doing some burning but it appeared to be out,” said Sharon Fire Chief Oliver Dowdle. “It looks like there was some fire beneath the brush and when the wind picked up yesterday it just ignited.”

The fire was under control by Sunday, but crews continued to watch it every hour.

“If the wind continues to blow it could jump fire lines so were containing to monitor it,” Chief Dowdle said. “It could have very easily gotten houses and stuff too.”

Officials say resident of the Locust Hill Road area should expect heavy smoke for the next couple of days.

“All it takes is one little spark,” Chief Dowdle said. “One little ember from anything. You get a little breeze in there and in the snap of a finger you’re looking at a big fire real quick.”

As is still the case in in North Carolina, where several wildfires are still ravaging the mountains.

As of Sunday night, the fire at lake lure had grown to over 7,000 acres, and is almost halfway contained thanks to the 925 firefighters there working around the clock.

“Your heart goes out to all them because it exhausted us yesterday and today dealing with this small fire compared to what they’re dealing with up there.”

Dowdle said one of their Sharon firefighters was injured battling the York fire Saturday. He suffered from dehydration, heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. As of Sunday, he was back with family and doing much better.

Meanwhile, as drought continues in the Carolinas and a burn ban remains in place, officials are urging everyone to be extra careful.

“Even if you think it’s very minor, even if it’s just throwing a cigarette out the window or whatever it may be, it just takes that one small spark,” Dowdle stressed.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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