A wildfire along the coast of South Carolina has ripped through Myrtle Beach early Thursday forcing dozens of people to evacuate their homes and leaving behind it more than 8,000 scorched acres.

Dozens of homes in Myrtle Beach are destroyed with no reported injuries. Hardest hit includes the Barefoot Landing development.

Fires were already blazing shortly after midnight and police banged on doors to awaken residents as strong winds pushed the blaze through a wooded swath toward the Barefoot Landing development.

About 2,500 people in a four-mile stretch on the western side of the waterway were told to leave their homes overnight, Aiello said. Shelters were set up at North Myrtle Beach City Hall and the House of Blues, where about 50 people watched a television over the bar looking for news updates.

Outside, a white haze settled and the acrid smell of smoke was pervasive.

Tourists watched the smoke move over the tree line at the Cane Patch driving range, where one of the holes on the par-3 course was on fire Wednesday night, said cashier John Paulhus, the Associated Press reported.

A cause has not been determined for the fire that began around noon on Wednesday in woods about six miles east of Conway, said Horry County Fire Rescue spokesman Todd Cartner.