LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Forestry Commission crews have suppressed 24 wildfires that burned 259 acres between 3:30 p.m. Thursday and 3:30 p.m. today. Since 3:30 p.m., AFC crews have suppressed nine wildfires and are working to contain three wildfires – one in Columbia southwest of Magnolia, one in Hempstead County near old Patmas School and one in Garland County north of Hot Springs Village. Acreage estimates are not available at this time.
County Judges have issued burn bans in 52 of the 75 counties in Arkansas: Ashley, Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Chicot, Clark, Cleburne, Cleveland, Columbia, Conway, Crawford, Dallas, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miller, Nevada, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Saline, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier, Sharp, Stone, Union, Van Buren, Washington, White and Yell.
AFC has designated wildfire conditions in Columbia, Hempstead, Lafayette, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita and Union Counties as extreme. High winds and drought conditions create extreme burning conditions that allow fires to easily escape and become difficult to control.
Since June 1, AFC crews have suppressed 575 wildfires that have burned 6,215 acres. The 10-year average for June 1 through August 31 is 313 wildfires for 2,846 acres.
With a high fire danger risk, there are a few things to remember:
• Burning is strongly discouraged. This is especially true on days where humidity levels have dropped below 30 percent and winds are gusty. Fires can spread quickly in these conditions.
• 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.
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.