Massive Wildfire on South Carolina Coast

April 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
On the South Carolina coast, firefighters are struggling with a massive blaze burning up the landscape around some of the state's busiest tourist spots.Four miles wide and six miles long, the powerful blaze bore down on Myrtle Beach Wednesday night. So fast, it jumped a six-lane highway.

"Right away the fire was 300-yards from my house. That quick. We barely got out and I didn't even have time to get my dog out, so I guess my dog is gone," said one resident.

The wildfire has scorched more than 8,000 acres and destroyed at least 40 homes, forcing the evacuation of thousands.

South Carolina governor, Mark Sanford, has already declared a state of emergency for the affected county.

A blanket of thick, gray ash now covers entire communities where homes once stood. Firefighters are working to contain the blaze, amid hopes the Intracoastal Waterway will serve as a natural barrier.

Remarkably.. No one has been hurt, but low winds and high humidity are adding to the fire's strength and speed, with no rain in the forecast.

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