Update: The S.C. Forestry Commission lifted the red flag alert for Horry and Georgetown counties Monday night.
Windy weather and low humidity led state forestry officials to issue a red flag fire alert for Horry County Monday.
These alerts are intended to warn the public that outdoor fires may escape easily and spread rapidly. They discourage outdoor burning, though they don't prevent it. Monday's alert went into effect at 7 a.m.
The S.C. Forestry Commission issues these warnings when "weather conditions present an elevated risk of wildfire," according to a news release from the commission. The alert program "helps reduce the strain on local fire departments and other first responders who need to remain available for other emergencies."
Georgetown County also received a red flag alert.
“The weather conditions will be favorable for wildfire ignitions in those areas,” SCFC Fire Chief Darryl Jones said in the release. “We want people who may be finishing up yardwork from the weekend to be aware of the elevated potential for fire danger.”
While the alert does not ban outdoor burning, the commission "strongly encourages citizens to voluntarily postpone any such burning until the alert is lifted," according to the release.
A red flag fire alert can trigger local ordinances that restrict outdoor fires. For example, the city of Conway issued a ban on outdoor burning Monday.
The alert will likely be lifted after Monday when relative humidity and chances of rain both increase, according to the release. This alert will remain in effect until lifted by the commission.