SC wildfire might accelerate today after overnight calm

Friday, April 24, 2009 8:25 AM
Last updated 4:42 PM
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Spurting embers from a wildfire destroyed dozens of homes but left others among them untouched as it began turning away from the most-populated stretch of South Carolina's beaches.

Firefighters expected the blaze to intensify today and turn northward after it destroyed about 70 homes and damaged 100 others, said Mike Bocco, the state Forestry Commission official overseeing the fight.

But calm winds overnight allowed firefighters to hold steady against the flames that have burned 31 square miles near one of South Carolina's busiest tourist areas.

There was no indication that additional homes had burned in the early morning hours today, said Holly Welch, a spokeswoman for the state Forestry Commission.

"It's looking really good so far," Welch said. "We had a really calm night, there weren't a whole lot of wind."

No injuries have been reported.

About 30 firefighters manned containment lines overnight and were able to reinforce some of them, she said.

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