Known for its light blue waters and warm grainy sand, North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is a coastal resort city. The mild subtropical climate means, for tourists, that outdoor activities are present all year-round.
In 2009, a wildfire now known as the Highway 31 Fire, hit the beach, destroying 75 homes in the community of Barefoot, and caused the evacuation of 4,000 people. Pine mulch straw, which is indigenous to the area, was the main reason the fire was able to spread so quickly and on a much larger scale. Many of the homes were bordered with pine mulch, which ignited rapidly and burned all the way up to their attics.
When the residents found out what the cause of the devastating fire was, they swiftly replaced the pine straw landscaping with Firewise-recommended landscaping materials. Soon after they became a Firewise community.
This summer’s Firewise How-To newsletter has more information on exactly how North Myrtle Beach became Firewise. There are also other stories about neighboring communities and their Firewise days. Read their stories and more today!