Sharp County's burn ban raises wildfire concerns - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Sharp County's burn ban raises wildfire concerns

ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) - It's been more than two weeks since we've had measurable rainfall in Region 8.

Local officials are worried about the possibility of forest fires.

Judge Larry Brown is taking no chances.

"You know, it is extremely dry right now. And Sunday I received a call from central dispatch that the state had issued an advisory because of the dry conditions and also the low humidity."

This low humidity and steady wind are prime ingredients for wildfires, especially in the densely wooded area of Sharp County.

"This time of year, a lot of farmers have pastures that are stockpiling for the winter. And any kind of fire could just destroy them."

According to the Arkansas Forestry Commission, much of the state is in a "moderate" risk.

"Please don't burn. As soon as we get a general rain, I'll lift this burn ban and we'll get back to normal."

Even though the official wildfire season doesn't start until February, dry northerly winds and a relative humidity in the middle 20s has sharp county officials on guard.

"We just do not need a fire at this time."

Judge Brown says it is important that residents of Ash Flat and Sharp County avoid burning leaves or trash until the burn ban is lifted.

The ban could last for the next couple weeks, but there is a chance for rain in the near future.

"What we need is a general rain of probably an inch. Just to slow things."

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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