Windy Weather Causes Wildfire Danger - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro
Kathy Morris Reports

Windy Weather Causes Wildfire Danger

April 3, 2003
Posted at: 10:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, ARk. -- Unusually windy weather has helped ingnite more than 50 wildfires across Arkansas since this past weekend, and the state's fire season is just starting.

Things have been quite calm in Northeast Arkansas, compared to the Ouachita national forest area. That's where about 200 firefighters from seven states are battling blazes. Local forestry workers hope that Region 8 acreage isn't scorched before straw-like grass can turn green.

Wild and ornamental grasses waving in the wind is enjoyable to look at. Beauty, however, can be deadly.

"If you get a fire started," Tim Gill of the Arkansas Forestry Commission said. "The wind's gonna push it a lot faster than it would otherwise. (It) helps to dry out the fuels, so that they'll burn faster."

Fuels are things like litter, dry grass and brush. A pilot contracted by the AFC looks for smoke. Forestry workers often respond alone, using their bulldozing equipment to clear a ring around a fire.

"More often than not the local fire department responds, and then calls us if they need assistance," Gill said.

"We've not had that many serious grass fires," Capt. Aaron Keller of the Jonesboro Fire Department said. "But we have had some grass fires that have had the potential of getting out of cont out of control."

Fires throughout the state, and the current dry and windy conditions, have forced the governor to put fifteen counties under a burn ban including Izard, Sharp, Stone and White in Region 8. Bans are unusual in Northeast Arkansas, because of high humidity levels in air.

Burning waste like pine needles can actually be good for your yard. It gets rid of material on the ground that causes fire to spread quickly, but Gill says if you are going to burn, you need to do it when it's damp, and the wind is calm.

"We need to wait until it rains again," Gill said. "And we're also waiting for what we call a green-up, when the grasses and everything turn gr until the brown shades we see turn green."

Keller does have a reminder for land owners: Once a fire crosses your property line, you're liable for damages to other people's property..

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Man arrested for arson after setting clothing on fire

    Man arrested for arson after setting clothing on fire

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 11:22 AM EDT2018-05-22 15:22:59 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:30 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:30:59 GMT
    Sidney Harris (Source: Dunklin Co. Jail via Vinelink)Sidney Harris (Source: Dunklin Co. Jail via Vinelink)

    Police in Kennett arrested a man accused of setting clothes on fire which spread to a house.

    Police in Kennett arrested a man accused of setting clothes on fire which spread to a house.

  • Marion Berry Parkway to be resurfaced

    Marion Berry Parkway to be resurfaced

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 11:59 AM EDT2018-05-22 15:59:36 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:11 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:11:17 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    Roadwork is expected to start this week on the Marion Berry Parkway.

    Roadwork is expected to start this week on the Marion Berry Parkway.

  • BREAKING

    JPD make arrest in April homicide

    JPD make arrest in April homicide

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:22 PM EDT2018-05-22 16:22:20 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:02 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:02:55 GMT

    According to online jail records, 25-year-old Khalid Karim Robertson was booked into the Craighead County Detention Center Monday afternoon on a first-degree murder charge.

    A Jonesboro man is in jail on a murder charge.

Powered by Frankly