Forestry Commission says fireworks caused Hornet Fire

Firefighters work to put out a fire in Horry County that has been burning since July 3rd.

The South Carolina Forestry Commission says fireworks caused what they call the "Hornet Fire" in Horry County. It says witness interviews indicated sky lanterns were see in the area before the fire started.

Unable to get a successful containment line on the north side of the Hornet Fire Monday night, the Forestry Commission burned 60 acres ahead of the wildfire.

The fire in the Carolina Forest area of Horry County began on July 3rd and continues to flare up igniting outside of fire breaks the agency has created.

"We've been having trouble getting a hold on that northside," says SC Forester Mike Ney. "The soil is burning very deep. So we decided to get ahead of the fire on a sandy region to burn those fuels."

The fire has burned more than 900 acres in forest land between the Carolina Forest Community and Highway 90.

Over the weekend, the commission said fire was fully contained, but as of Monday that amount dropped down to 95 percent.

Ney says while working on keeping the Hornet Fire under control, the commission receives at least three calls a day from outdoor brush fires flaring up around the county, some near homes.

"The 548 fire keeps flaring up from time to time, and with the drought conditions the way they are right now, it's not helping us."

According to the Department of Natural Resources, Horry and Marion Counties sit at a severe drought status.

"We've called people in from across other regions to assist us at this time," says Ney, "and everyone within our own region is working right now or on call. We're doing everything we can."

Ney says dumping water on the fire would be futile at this time.

"We would need hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to completely put out this fire, and we don't have the resources right now to do that."

The Forestry Commission says the cloud of smoke that blankets parts of Horry County will remain for some time.

How has the fire or smoke affected you or your day to day activities?