NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF)- Brush fires Saturday left a huge area of scorched earth in North Augusta near the Clearwater road exit on I-520. But thanks to prompt response, no houses caught on fire and no one was hurt. There are some small fires still popping up a day later, but North Augusta public safety has an eye on them and says the worst is over.
Saturday afternoon, neighborhoods near Blanchard Rd. were evacuated for a few hours as crews worked to extinguish the fires.
“This is a heavily-residential area, so it’s a lot of homes,” said Capt. Nick Gallam with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.
Brandon Childs was one of the people who faced a deputy at his door Saturday afternoon, telling him and his neighbors to evacuate.
“He just told my dad we need to get out of here,” Childs said. “There were cops riding up and down everywhere.”
Thankfully, the fires were contained before they could reach the neighborhoods, but they did burn a substantial area.
People who live nearby are also still smelling the effects.
“My clothes still smell like smoke from it,” Childs said. “The house smell like smoke.”
But things could be a lot worse.
“I wasn’t that scared,” he said. “I mean a little worried. I didn’t want my house to burn down.”
Childs and others only ended up leaving their homes for a few hours at the most. But some areas are still smoldering.
North Augusta Public Safety officials are monitoring the small fires sparking, but the risk is not nearly as high as it was Saturday, especially since vast swaths of brush have been cleared to repel fire spreading further and so much has already been burned.
It’s still very dry and will be for the next few days, but the strong winds that helped the fires spread Saturday have calmed down, which lowers the risk of such a large brush fire spreading again.