CNN reports that a wildfire near the South Carolina coast has burned 20,000 acres, including roughly 70 homes, forcing the evacuation of a couple of subdivisions.
So far there have been no fatalities, and tourism officials in Horry County (pronounced Oh-REE, if you want to sound like a local, named for Revolutionary War hero Peter Horry) are putting on a mostly smiley face, which you might not be able to see for all the smoke.
A friend in South Carolina says the fire might be headed toward Carolina Forest, a newish development west of the Intracoastal Waterway that didn’t exist the last time there was a wildfire in that neck of the woods (30 years ago when it literally was just woods)
Embedded video from CNN Video
My old paper, The Sun News, said today (Friday) officials expect the fire to threaten another area soon: “The track of the fire is expected to turn to the north this afternoon and threatened many homes in the Poplar community near S.C. 90, according to Paul Whitten, Horry County public safety director.”
Local folks report that most of the golf courses in the area are open for business and the beaches are not threatened. Besides, sand really doesn’t burn, although the sea oats might not do so well.
Meanwhile, in what my old pals at The Sun News might have labeled “Only in Myrtle Beach,” a Barefoot Resort resident tells TSN he was pounding on a neighbor’s door to alert him about the encroaching fires and was thanked with the business end of a gun.
I am happy to report that my old house near U.S. 501 appears to be in no immediate danger and one of my favorite restaurants, Drunken Jack’s (a good bit south, in Murrels Inlet), is also in no danger. See the shameless but uncompensated plug here.