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Forecasts for the eastern half of the state over the next few days also call for higher-than-normal wind gusts, which combined with elevated drought conditions create the potential for outdoor fires escaping easily and spreading rapidly. After consultation with Gov. Henry McMaster and other emergency response organizations Tuesday, State Forester Scott Phillips declared the ban to reduce possible wildfire ignitions. The burning ban is primarily intended to ease the strain on firefighting personnel – from both the Forestry Commission and from local fire departments – many of whom were dispatched to coastal regions to assist with evacuation procedures and law enforcement activities, and later, damage assessment and cleanup. In addition to performing its normal wildfire suppression operations, the Forestry Commission has deployed its own law enforcement and incident management personnel to support the state’s coordinated emergency response. The ban will stay in effect until further notice, which will come in the form of an official announcement from the Forestry Commission.