Georgetown County officials now have the authority to ban outdoor burning when conditions make such activity dangerous.
An ordinance approved by Council on Sept. 14 allows the County Administrator or their designee to institute a burn ban upon the recommendation of the jurisdictional fire chief. The ordinance mirrors state guidelines. Burn bans would be issued primarily due to weather conditions, such as wind or drought, that would make it easy for fires to get out of control, or other local circumstances that could make fires hazardous. An automatic prohibition of any open burning in the county will go into effect any time a Red Flag Fire Alert from the S.C. Forestry Commission is active.
The ordinance will not apply to small campfires, outdoor fireplaces, firepits and other specific items used for cooking or heat.
The penalty for violation of a burn ban will be up to $500, or up to 30 days jail time or public service.
The ordinance also lays out guidelines for any open burning, including materials that should not be burned minimum distances from homes and other structures.