GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - The South Carolina Forestry Commission declared a State Forester’s Burning Ban for all counties on Tuesday and said the ban will be in effect until further notice.
A State Forester’s Burning Ban prohibits outdoor burning anywhere outside of city/town limits in South Carolina, including:
- yard debris burns;
- forestry, wildlife or agricultural burns
(also known as prescribed, or controlled, burns); and
- campfires and other types of recreational open burning.
The ban was issued due to the public health crisis posed by the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
Health officials said smoke can exacerbate the symptoms of those who have contracted the virus, and can also trigger underlying respiratory issues in other people, which could result in symptoms similar to those the COVID-19 virus is known to cause.
“For infected individuals, breathing smoke could make coronavirus symptoms worse, increasing the risk of hospitalization or death,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Physician Consultant, in a news release. “It could also cause people who have not contracted the coronavirus, but who are presenting COVID-19-like symptoms, to seek medical care at a time when medical resources are already stretched thin.”
State Forester Scott Phillips said reducing outdoor burning will also minimize the strain on local fire departments and other first responders who need to remain available for other COVID-19 response activities.