Arkansas is still under the grip of very dry weather, and the state's wildfire danger remains high in most areas.
The Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) says its crews have contained 15 fires that burned 106 acres since 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Since October 1, AFC crews have put out 202 fires that burned 3,896 acres and threatened 50 homes.
Because of the dry conditions, Arkansans are reminded that a burn ban means NO outdoor burning.
Forty-seven of the state's 75 counties are currently under burn bans. Click here to see the burn bans map from the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Those counties are: Arkansas, Ashley, Baxter, Bradley, Chicot, Clark, Clay, Cleburne, Cleveland, Columbia, Conway, Craighead, Cross, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Faulkner, Garland, Grant, Greene, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Lincoln, Lonoke, Monroe, Montgomery, Nevada, Ouachita, Perry, Phillips, Pike, Poinsett, Polk, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, Sevier, St. Francis, Union, White and Woodruff.
When conditions are dry any outdoor burning has a chance of starting a larger fire that endangers people and buildings as well as trees and grassy areas. Click here to see the wildfire danger map from the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Arkansas residents living in forested areas should begin taking measures to protect their homes from wildfire. Even the smallest steps taken can lead to a huge advantage in ensuring your home will remain standing.
With a high fire danger risk, there are a few things to remember:
- Be mindful that sparks from lawn mowers and hay baling equipment can start a wildfire.
- Never discard cigarettes from vehicles.
- Never park vehicles where grass or other vegetation can touch the exhaust system.
AFC recommends homeowners create a 30 to 100 foot (depending on the terrain) “defensible space” around their house. Defensible space is an area around a structure that provides an opportunity to modify the existing vegetation to slow the rate and intensity of an advancing wildfire.
Homeowners should thin flammable trees, such as pine, near their home and remove undergrowth that can serve as a link for grass fire to reach treetops. Also, be sure to remove dead leaves and pine needles from roofs, gutters and along the base of your home.
Other suggestions include:
- Mow your yard regularly.
- Keep trees and shrubs pruned.
- Prune all trees from six to 10 feet above the ground. Remove overhanging branches from your roof.
- Store firewood away from the house.
- Dispose of cutting and debris promptly, according to local regulations.
- Homeowners should use 1/8-inch screen to cover open areas underneath decks. This prevents embers from igniting vegetation beneath the deck, which can in turn ignite the structure.
To report a wildfire call 1-800-468-8834
Before you burn call 1-800-830-8015
For fire weather information call 1-800-830-8015