Northeast Arkansas in drought, brings risk for wildfires

Northeast Arkansas in drought, brings risk for wildfires

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It has been a fairly dry start for 2015 across Region 8 and that has brought a moderate drought and moderate fire risk for the region.

Thomas Lindsey with the Arkansas Forestry Commission said that even though the drought is already at a moderate risk, issues with wildfires are just getting started.

"Droughts always go hand-in-hand with fire, even during the summertime, even in spring. We could have fires in spring because of drought conditions," Lindsey said.

While droughts aren't something typical in Region 8, Lindsey said that the wildfire season at this time of year is typical and that the season usually peaks during the months of February and March. Lindsey said the past two weekends have already shown a large amount of activity.

"This weekend before last we had 98 fires that burned a total of 15-hundred acres. Last weekend, like I said, last weekend it kind of slowed down.  We had 25 fires that burned 328 acres," Lindsey said.

With the fire issues already starting this year, Lindsey said we need more rain than what we've seen the last few weeks to get out of this drought.

Lindsey said that if we don't get a good soaking rain every week for the next month, it will keep his crews busy.

Lindsey asked that everyone who plans to burn anything check the weather and make sure that they have something to contain the fire before they even light a match. For more information on safe burning or to check if your county is under a burn ban you can access the Arkansas Forestry Commission's website, here.

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