Fires hit rain-starved
Homes burned and residents evacuated as strong winds fan the flames
The Associated Press, Feb. 11, 2008
About 60 homes were briefly evacuated Sunday afternoon as a fire sent smoke billowing above this city of about 11,000 people, about 15 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.
Lewis Cooper fled the flames one of the states 106 forest fires with his wife, and said the heat was intense from seven football fields away.
The flames were at the top of the trees and I could feel the heat, said Cooper, 37, who went to a Baptist church being used as a shelter to check on his neighbors.
Joseph Schell got word about
Twelve small structures, including at least one business and an unknown number of homes and sheds, were damaged by a blaze near the
What sparked the fire?
Horry County Fire Rescue spokesman Todd Cartner said officials would begin Monday investigating what may have sparked the fire. Cartner also said daylight would help determine the extent of the damage.
The Willow Spring Free Will Baptist Church in
The church was spared any damage as high winds whipped the flames across 50 acres, burning two empty barns and threatening about 20 homes, Ellington said. No injuries were reported.
Hundreds of western
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine declared a state of emergency Sunday and activated the Virginia National Guard to be available to help battle wildfires that have broken out in several areas across the state.
Appalachian Power said more than 75,000 of its customers in western
Elsewhere in the state,
Since then, 30-plus-mph winds created so much smoke that gauging the fires size became impossible. The number of people affected by the evacuation was not immediately known. An elementary school was set up as an evacuation center.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.