Cayce, SC (WLTX)- There is a state agency that responds to major fires all around the state and you probabably would never even notice them.
"We role anytime when requested," said Adam Myrick.
When large fires like the one in Cayce happen, firefighters and law enforcement aren't the only ones on the scene.
"There is the probability and possibility of an impact to the environment," said Myrick.
SC DHEC is called to monitor the air quality and make sure there is no threat to public health. Adam Myrick says that's not their only job.
"We have come in and taken a look at the fire water run off, in other words the water that is used to fight the fire where is it going, what is in it and is it impacting the environment at all," said Myrick. "There are steps that we can take to prevent it from entering into a stream or creek or river, there are also, there are also times when we are going to sample the water to see what is in it and see what steps we might need to take. "
He says the water run off from fires can mix with chemical or other substances used to fight the fire.
"We want to make sure in this case and any other case that fire water run off is impacting the environment as little as possible. "
DHEC uses monitoring devices that they set up around the area and track it through GPS to test the air quality.
"We will set up some equipment at the command post where the first responders are based out of, also set them up around the perimeter of the scene to make sure there is nothing in the air that is a threat to public health. "
In the event the air quality is hazardous law enforcement would have residents in a certain mile radius evacuate the area.