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Forestry Commission warns of fire danger | Environment

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Forestry Commission warns of fire danger
Forestry Commission warns of fire danger

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Forestry Commission crews have suppressed 26 wildfires that burned 490 acres  across the state on Thursday.

High winds of 15 to 30 MPH today…with gusts to 40 MPH in parts of the state coupled with lowering relative humidity between 25 to 35 percent will create elevated fire danger today.

Outside burning is not recommended under these condition. Searcy County is currently under a burn ban.

For details concerning the location or status of fires in all Arkansas counties, homeowners may call the AFC Dispatch Center at 1-501-332-2000.

Should the warm temperatures and gusty wind continue, there are a few things to remember:

  • An early Spring fire season can be just as dangerous as one in a hot summer. Homeowners should make sure to burn only following rain and on days when the wind is low and humidity levels are above 30%. Without those conditions, fires can spread quickly.
  • Be mindful that cigarettes, lawn mowers, hay baling equipment, car exhaust, as well as small “controlled” burns can quickly create large flames in the flashy vegetation that is still left from the winter. Until grasses and trees fully green up for spring, we are still dealing with easily flammable vegetation.
  • Now is a good time to begin clearing the dead vegetation (including leaves, sticks, pine needles and other dead debris) away from your home while temperatures are mild. Allowing a buildup of this leftover combustible material from the winter season creates a fire hazard that will only become more dry with the oncoming of spring and summer.

For tips on protecting your home from wildfire, visit www.arkansasfirewise.com. To view current burn bans  and wildfire danger ratings,  visit www.arkansasforestry.org. To report a wildfire, call the Arkansas Forestry Commission Dispatch Center at 1-800-468-8834, or 911.