CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Authorities continued to work Thursday
to contain wildfires across the state, and rainy weather in the
forecast was expected to help conditions.
Dry weather fueled more than 20 wildfires Wednesday, including a
blaze in rural Berkeley County and another on Bull's Island, a
wildlife refuge that is home to four endangered red wolves.
Since Sunday, only one home in Jasper County has been lost, said
Mike Bozzo, fire management officer with South Carolina Forestry
Commission.
"Throughout the state, we've got about 50 bulldozers out there
on about 20 fires," Bozzo said.
The wolves on Bull's Island are safe, but a March 17 prescribed
burn that was intended for 500 of the island's 2,900 high land
acres ignited a wildfire. Another 250 acres are expected to be
lost.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has brought firefighters from
as far away as Mississippi to help with that fire, which the agency
hopes to contain by Friday, said Donny Browning, the agency's
project leader for South Carolina coastal refuges.
In Berkeley County, a large fire on private property south of
Huger threatened a few homes and the Francis Marion National
Forest. The Forestry Commission fought the fire with bulldozers, a
helicopter and two air tankers.
The weather might help out.
Only 1/100th of an inch of rain has fallen in April, but rain is
expected Thursday and there's a likelihood of showers throughout
the weekend, said Joe Calderone, a National Weather Service
meteorologist.
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Information from: The Post and Courier,
http://www.charleston.net

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)