Taking the fuel out of the fire in Carolina Forest

Carolina Forest is one of the faster growing areas in Horry County. Heavily-wooded areas are being cleared to make room for new housing developments.

Many of those developments are in close proximity to wooded areas, which contain a slew of potential fire hazards, including brush and other debris.

For this reason, Horry County firefighters have seen an increase in people using wildfire fuel reduction, which is a tactic to prevent or decrease a wildfires' intensity.

A big sign that read 'Wildfire Fuel Reduction' sat on a piece of private property along Carolina Forest Boulevard Friday.

"You're taking out the logs, the thicket, and everything that's going to make the fire intensify," said Cpt. Tim Rainbolt of the Horry County Fire and Rescue.

Not only does this tactic reduce the size of the fire, but it also helps firefighters like Rainbolt do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.

Ultimately, fuel reduction can help save time, which in turn, can save homes and lives depending on the situation.

Cpt. Rainbolt said Carolina Forest has done a great job with fuel reduction and their efforts to make more communities Firewise.

Over the years, he has seen the area start to use wildfire fuel reduction more, especially after the devastation caused by the Windsor Green condo fire in March 2013.

Currently, Horry County has an ordinance that requires property owners to maintain their properties to a certain extent, which includes preventing land from becoming a fire hazard.

The law does not require property owners to use fuel reduction techniques, but Cpt. Rainbolt said it could benefit an area like Carolina Forest.

"I'd like to see something on the books. If you're in an area say like Carolina Forest or an area where you're getting a lot of urban interface where it's like wood that runs up to houses," he said.

To find out more about fuel reduction, click here: