Brush fires spring up in Aiken County

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April 7, 2007

AIKEN CTY, S.C.---Neither Georgia nor South Carolina would allow outdoor burning today, and it soon became obvious why. News 12 caught two Aiken County brush fires on tape this afternoon...the kind that can quickly spread.

A quiet Saturday afternoon in Belvedere was suddenly filled with the sounds of water hoses and crews working feverishly.

"Just a lot of smoke and fire blazing up from the woods across the way," said Leola Mims. She was stuck in her car on Clairmont Drive--firefighters say for her own safety--as her brother, who owns the home next door, watched from his front yard in disbelief.

"Praying that they get it under control and get it out," Leola said.

A second fire sparked up at the same time--this one in Langley, right behind the Midland Valley Baptist Church.

"Didn't seem to be any traffic up in there, and no houses nearby where the fire's at. So, actually, don't know what really started it," said Capt. Henry Carlin of the Langley Fire Department.

But area rangers and foresters, who News 12 spoke with just last month, say this is why they issue no burn warnings.

Today's fires demonstrated just how quickly brush fires can spread...and how dangerously out of control they can become.

Here's how you can get information about burning your debris. In Georgia, the local office is at 706-556-3962. In South Carolina, the number to call is 1-800-895-7057.

Remember, if you're caught burning without a permit, you'll be fined.

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