- Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Forestry Commission is warning of the dangers of wildfires this weekend.

The commission issued a red flag fire alert Friday morning that officials hope will discourage outdoor burning.

The agency said weather forecasts for most of the state include stronger than usual wind gusts and very low relative humidity. Those factors combined with dry fuels on the ground can increase the danger from wildfires.

A red flag alert does not prohibit outdoor burning, although some local governments do ban outdoor fires when the alerts are issued.

Commission Fire Chief Darryl Jones said there were more than 50 wildfires across the state Thursday.

The agency said it will monitor conditions through the weekend and decide when to life the alert.

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