Charges have been handed out regarding a Jan. 30 brush fire on Curtis Drive that nearly destroyed multiple homes.
Plexico Williams, of Curtis Drive, has been issued a ticket for "allowing fire to spread to another's land," according to Scott Hawkins with the S.C. Forestry Commission. The ticket carries a fine of $475.
Hawkins said Williams had been conducting controlled burns on his property since Jan. 21 and had notified the Forestry Commission daily.
The fire began around 3 p.m. when smoldering woodchips and other debris in a burn pit got caught in strong winds and carried into a nearby crop field. The fire, pushed by wind gusts around 40 mph, spread quickly across the field toward homes and a wooded area.
Curtis Drive runs between highways 37 and 278.
Long Branch Fire Department was the first to respond, but soon called for more help when they realized the fire was getting out of control. In all, five departments responded to the scene and were able to contain the blaze before it engulfed any homes. Two homes were damaged and some sheds and vehicles were destroyed.
The departments, along with Forestry Commission workers, were at the scene for more than three hours putting out "hot spots," according to Long Branch Fire Chief Andy Hogg.
No was injured during the fire, but one firefighter, suffering from smoke inhalation, was taken to the hospital. He was treated and released.
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