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York, Chester counties under fire alert

As an 80-acre wildfire spreads in Pickens County, York, Chester and Cherokee have all been put under a "red flag" fire alert by the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

The alert has been put out because of dry and windy conditions in South Carolina's Piedmont region, stretching from York County down to Lexington County and over to Oconee County.

"They're not likely to take down (the alert) while there's a fire roaring in Pickens County," said Scott Hawkins, spokesman for the forestry commission.

The forestry commission says it has responded to more than 100 wildfires since the alert was issued last week. The biggest is being fought by 50 firefighters over 80 acres in the Jocassee Gorges Natural Area in the Eastatoe Valley.

"That makes it a sizeable fire," Hawkins said. Hawkins said an abandoned campfire was the cause of the fire which has engulfed a side of a mountain. Officials spotted the fire Monday.

"It's neither contained, nor under control," Hawkins said. The counties under the "red flag" fire alert are: Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Union and York.

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