60 acres burn in Carolina Forest; instantly covered on Twitter (update: no update)

Photo by TJ Goff
This photo was posted to Twitter by Carolina Forest resident TJ Goff

Update 4/20 P.M. no update: None of the breaking news agencies have any new information about the fires.

With rain on the way, we're going to presume any lingering smolders aren't a serious threat or concern.

Update 4/18 A.M. contained, watching wind: The only news we could currently find is from SCNow.com. Sounds like everything is under control for the time being.

If you're in the Carolina Forest area and have some photos or information to tweet out, use the #CFFire hashtag.

Update 4/18 Late P.M. no longer contained: The Carolina Forest Chronicle reports the fire burned an additional 40 acres today with the potential to go to 1500.

Update 4/18 P.M. it's not dead yet: WMBF News reports that the fire has rekindled and burning again. More details on their site.

Update 4/18 A.M. next day coverage: There's been some more reports since yesterday.


First report 4/17: At approximately 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, Horry County Fire-Rescue was alerted to a wildfire somewhere between International Drive and The Farm subdivision. Over the course of five hours, the fire spread to an estimated 50-60 acres. 

The Carolina Forest Chronicle has more information about how the weather conditions affected the fire and the possible cause that started it. Read it here.

Word over Twitter spread as fast as the fire.

But another interesting part of the story was Twitter. A combination of local residents and news organizations jumped on to Twitter to share information and photos as quickly as possible. The first tweet I saw was this one from Jeremy Rollison. Shortly after that was a tweet from TJ Goff. I retweeted these and tagged them with the #myr hashtag. Local writer Ian Guerin was live tweeting the Coastal Carolina baseball game and responded to my request for more information. He forwarded a link that The Sun News had posted to their website. By that time, TJ Goff's wife Beth had spoken directly with firefighters on the scene and more photos started to come in from Dawn JohnsonJenn Gracia, and Ian Guerin. Some tweets had adopted the hashtag #CFFire About 30 minutes had passed since I sent the first retweet.

By that time, the news agencies started posting regular updates. The Sun News got the first jump with their story. But it wasn't long after that WMBF reporters Laura Thomas and Meghan Miller were tweeting any information they had. The Carolina Forest Chronicle posted an updates to their Facebook page. We never intend on competing with the other outlets on their first reporting abilities. I just happened to be watching Twitter when this whole thing went down. 

Not only did this make for an exciting afternoon on an otherwise lazy Sunday, it really hits home on the capabilities of social media for coordinating and sharing information. Particularly in emergency situations. In the coming weeks,  TheDigitel Myrtle Beach will be holding workshops on helping people understand how to use these services to accomplish this.






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