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      Textraw replacing pine straw in Barefoot Resort

      People in one Horry County community that was hit by a devastating wildfire five years ago are looking for ways to prevent that kind of tragedy from happening again.

      One way is by using a plastic fire-resistant ground cover around trees and bushes.

      Textraw is a synthetic material that's been put down around landscaping in the common areas of Barefoot Resort.

      More than 70 homes were lost in the Barefoot fire in April , 2009.

      Some homeowners claimed the highly-flammable pine straw around the landscaping helped spread the flames.

      So this year, Barefoot's management company replaced the pine straw with Textraw.

      Textraw is made from recycled plastic, and it's fire-resistant.

      "So if somebody for some reason walks by and flicks a cigarette in it, it's only going to melt. it will not catch on fire," said Mark Williams of Grand Strand Power Equipment, a Textraw dealer.

      Textraw costs much more than natural pine straw, but it lasts ten years or more, Williams said.

      "It's a little more expensive up front, but over time, you save money from not having to purchase the material again."

      Williams says the color holds for years. In fact, Textraw president David Carvin says at first, it was aesthetics, not fire resistance, that led some homeowners in Barefoot to urge management to use Textraw.

      Still, many property owners there say they're not thrilled with the red color. Others don't like the slippery feel of it and some aren't convinced pine straw was a big concern in the first place.

      But one homeowner who lost his home to fire thinks Textraw is a good idea.

      "For some of us who have lost our houses, we're always looking at things differently and the neighborhood going around and doing things different, i think this is a big improvement, given where we are," said Barefoot Resort resident Barry Tooker.

      Textraw is fire resistant simply because it's plastic. There are no flame-retardant chemicals added to it.

      Textraw is also advertised as being insect-resistant, though safe for humans and pets.