After busy weekend, Forestry Commission says wildfire danger is high
The Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Forestry Commission (AFC) has suppressed 103 wildfires that burned 1,805 acres in the last four days, and now, 59 of 75 Arkansas counties are under high wildfire danger. Current drought conditions and weather forecasts for low humidity and gusty winds will create elevated wildfire danger across Arkansas through this week.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined State Forester Joe Fox in encouraging residents to avoid outdoor burning until the wildfire danger conditions subside. Arkansas residents can report wildfires to the AFC dispatch center by calling 1-800-468-8834.
AFC data reflects wildfires on privately owned land and does not include state or federal lands such as state parks, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service. U.S. Forest Service crews are responding to wildfires currently burning within Arkansas’ National Forests in Perry and Johnson counties, which may create smoke throughout central Arkansas early this week.
Arkansas currently has 29 active burn bans which are declared by county judges, in the following counties: Ashley, Bradley, Boone, Carroll, Clark, Cleburne, Conway, Drew, Faulkner, Fulton, Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Independence, Jefferson, Lonoke, Madison, Montgomery, Ouachita, Perry, Polk, Pulaski, Saline, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, White, and Yell.
So far in November, 196 wildfires have burned 3,106 acres. In 2017, at least 1,288 wildfires burned 22,849 acres. The last high wildfire year in Arkansas was 2012, when 2,148 wildfires burned 34,434 acres. More than 120 AFC rangers, foresters and support personnel including dispatchers and pilots responded to wildfires during the holiday weekend. Residents can stay updated on county burn bans and wildfire danger at www.arkfireinfo.org.
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