The South Carolina Forestry Commission has issued a red flag fire weather alert effective at midnight for the entire state.

The alert is an advisory which strongly encourages residents to postpone burning. Nearly half of all wildfires in the state begin as debris burns.

The commission issues such an alert when weather conditions support the spread of fire and outdoor activities are expected to rise because of favorable weather.

This week, Williamsburg County suffered a nearly 400-acre wildfire. The Forestry Commission says its capacity to respond to wildfire is sorely tested when red flag alert weather conditions persists on a statewide level.

The alert will remain in effect until lifted by the commission.