Fires Blaze Across the Natural State

January 8, 2006--Posted at 10:45 p.m. CST

HAMBURG-- State fire officials say a six-mile-long wildfire destroyed four homes and four other structures today in Ashley County east of the town of Hamburg.

Deputy Larry Nance with the Arkansas Forestry Dispatch Office said that as of this afternoon the fire had burned three thousand acres and was six miles long by one mile wide. Nance said the Ashley County Sheriff's office had evacuated some residents, but Nance did not know how many people were displaced by the blaze.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission said eleven bulldozers, two air tankers and four volunteer fire departments were working to contain the fire. The commission said firefighters would stop using the air tankers after dark.

State fire officials called today the first major wildfire outbreak of the season in Arkansas. At least 35 fires burned across the state.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)