Carolina Forest residents follow brush fire's progress

A four acre brush fire continues to


in Carolina Bays near the Walkers Woods subdivision in Carolina Forest, and residents who live in the fire prone area are handling the emotional roller

coaster in stride.

"It concerns you," said resident Cecil Cassatt. "But I've talked with the firefighters so I feel good about things."

Cassatt has kept a close eye on the fire burning just a half a mile away from his home.

Even though it's a fear he deals with each year, it's not necessarily a fear he's used to.

"Especially with these pine forests because they're really nasty," said Cassatt.

According to the South Carolina Forestry Commission, firefighters battled 3,094 wildfires in 2011.

This year


they've battled more than 1


100 wildfires.

"I was concerned because every year it happens," said Suzanne Noonan. "I was afraid it'd be spreading."

Noonan said the morning haze is only making matters worse for residents.

"Smoke was so thick you couldn't see on the other side of the road."

But even with the threat of a fire burning down their homes and clouds of smoke filling the neighborhood, both Cassatt and Noonan say living next to the forest is why they moved to the subdivision in the first place.

"It's a privacy thing," said Cassatt.

"I wanted a backyard for my kids," said Noonan. "It's worth it."

The Walker Woods neighborhood is a Firewise Community


The Firewise program encourages residents to clear their yards of any potential fire hazards, like pine straw and flammable vegetation.