Wildfire season is approaching, and the South Carolina Forestry will be ready; thanks to some new equipment.
Two of the brand new closed-cab bulldozers were unveiled outside of the Statehouse Wednesday morning. The state-of-the-art bulldozers have air filtration and cooling which blocks heat, smoke, and dust from the operator unlike the old ones. They also provide a safe place if the bulldozer is overtaken by flames.
The money comes from $3 million saved for the Forestry Commission in the last legislative session.
"When you hear us talk about the budget, and you hear us talk about it in big numbers, you hear what we want to do with the money and what we don't want to do with the money...We can say all day long that we protect law enforcement and that we protect firefighters and we appreciate them. But you don't appreciate them by saying it. You appreciate them by doing it," said Gov. Nikki Haley.
State Forester Gene Kodama said it also helps with jobs.
"The forest, the landowners, the loggers, the mills, the processors and all of the many jobs that the forest is the basis for all those jobs that we have. Our fire fighters are our ground level troops. They are just like our military. And they deserve the very best technology and the very best equipment," said Kodama.
The department will have 10 new bulldozers total. Two-thirds of the Palmetto State is covered in forest acres.