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Burn bans are being imposed in more areas of Arkansas



Little Rock, Arkansas — Even though summer may be over, the state’s burn prohibitions have been in effect for a little longer due to persistently dry conditions and a lack of precipitation.

The burn prohibition, which is in force in 66 counties, affects almost all of Arkansas’ 75 counties.

But given that it’s fall already, you might be asking why the wildfire danger is still present.

“Any precipitation will be greatly appreciated in the state,” said Matthew Lutz with the Saline County Office of Emergency Management.

Rain has been scarce recently, and officials from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (ADA) claimed that the state as a whole is now at a high risk of wildfires as a result of the dry spell.

“Because of the rain deficit, it makes the low humidity that we often experience in the fall more dangerous,” said Joe Fox with the ADA.

Due to the weather, limbs, twigs, and grass have dried out, increasing the risk.”Open flames are very dangerous [and] fires can get away,” Fox said.

Ideally, burn restrictions and high wildfire threat only occur in the summer, but Fox claimed that it’s not unusual for them to occur in the fall as well.”Over the last several years, the fire season, if you will, continues to grow in this season in the year,” Lutz described.

When there is a burn ban, many Arkansans might ask what they can and cannot burn. Lutz says that open burning is strictly prohibited.”Waste, campfires, bonfires [and] recreational fires,” Lutz explained.
He also stated that this also applied to state-level controlled burning.

Lutz suggested using a “cover of some sort [so] you can secure the coals and ash]” but acknowledged that using a grill is acceptable in some situations.

He explained to us that, in addition to just avoiding burning, there are several simple precautions you may take to prevent a fire from starting.

“Making sure your chains aren’t dragging when you’re pulling a trailer or a tractor or anything behind it. Don’t discard cigarette butts and uncontrolled containers,” Lutz explained.

In the last four days, the state has had at least nine fires because of the dry conditions.


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