COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The South Carolina Forestry Commission has issued a red flag fire alert for more than half of the state's counties.
The commission says the alert goes into effect at 7 p.m. Friday. It means that outdoor burning is still allowed, but officials strongly advise holding off on doing any burning until weather conditions improve.
Authorities say weekend forecasts call for high winds, low humidity and very little rain -- conditions that can make debris burns difficult to control. The Forestry Commission says those conditions, combined with the agency's low staffing levels due to budget cuts, led to the alert.
The alert affects counties in the Pee Dee region and along the state's coast.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)