Fire danger elevating in Region 8

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Crunching grass is a familiar sound to all Arkansans after a hot and mainly dry summer. But earlier in September we finally received a decent rain that helped quell some of the fire threat.

Thomas Lindsey is a County Ranger with the Arkansas Forestry Commission. He said, "We got that rain and it slowed it (fires) down for about a week and now we're starting to pick back up again."

He said all the right conditions are in place for more fires to spark.

Lindsey said, "Very dry conditions, low humidity, high winds; all the things that a fire needs to burn."

To be more specific Lindsey said a fuel is needed, but what does that mean?

"Fuel could be grass, hardwood liter, pine needles. Just anything on the ground that would burn," said Lindsey.

As of Thursday, September 30, 2010, the following counties in Region 8 were under a burn ban: Cross, Greene, St. Francis and Woodruff.

However the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch that goes into effect Friday for a large portion of Region 8, which means critical fire conditions are forecast.

Lindsey said, "Please don't burn if you don't have to, but if you are going to burn, please take the precaution to keep it under control."

Some people have asked about farmers burning their fields.

Lindsey said, "Make sure they disc completely around that field. Get at least a 15 foot barrier from one vegetation to another."

According to Lindsey, conditions are expected to get worse every day as a drier northerly wind returns this weekend. He expects burn bans to be issued for other parts of the area soon.

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