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Elevated wildfire risk continues today for the Myrtle Beach area

An elevated risk for wildfires continues today after area firefighters were busy during the weekend battling several blazes, according to authorities.

Strong winds from the southwest and low relative humidity increase the chance of wildfires today, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C. Winds will average 15 to 20 mph with gusts more than 30 mph. Humidity will fall to 35 percent inland and 40 percent along the coast.

Residents should postpone any outdoor burning until conditions improve, forecasters said. Outdoor cooking and other activities could create fire hazards because of the strong winds expected today.

A red flag alert remains in effect for Horry and Georgetown counties today, according to Scott Hawkins with the state Forestry Commission.

Between Feb. 1 to Feb. 17, state forestry officials answered 226 fire calls throughout state, according to Hawkins. During the weekend, officials responded to an estimated 221 additional fires, which brought the statewide total to 447 wildfires this month.

The Coastal South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross dispersed disaster action team volunteers to assist with two multi-unit fires during the weekend.

On Saturday, two mobile homes burned on Betsy Drive in Salters, according to Red Cross officials. The home of two adults was destroyed while a second home nearby received major damage displacing four adults and two children.

On Sunday morning, teams provided mass care and damage assessment at an apartment fire at Cape Landing Circle in Socastee. While 22 people were displaced initially, all but one were relocated with family or were able to return to their apartments.