Parts of the Waccamaw Neck bikeway will close this week as the state moves forward with planned and controlled burning at Huntington Beach State Park.
The bikeway runs through Pawleys Island north to the Horry County Line, including a section that traverses the park’s forest. Parts of that section will close intermittently beginning this week until controlled burning is complete. The work is expected to take about a month. The path will be open during the process as much as possible whenever authorities deem work does not pose a danger to riders on the path.
The state announced plans for controlled burning at Huntington Beach State Park last year and hosted a community meeting in Murrells Inlet in November. The controlled burn is part of wildfire mitigation efforts. The accumulation of “woody fuels” such as dead and downed trees from years of hurricanes, storms and beetle damage have created a high wildfire risk for the area, which poses a risk to homes in the area.
“Huntington Beach State Park is a prime example of where the wildland and urban landscapes collide, emphasizing the importance of mitigation efforts like this to be undertaken,” said Drake Carroll, S.C. Forestry Commission fire prevention coordinator. “In addition to improving not only the health of the forest itself, but also the sheer aesthetics of the land and the viability of the wildlife habitat it supports, this project will greatly reduce the wildfire risk to the park and its neighboring communities."
Georgetown County asks that bikeway users be patient with the closings during this time. Closures will be limited as much as possible.