Evacuations, Destroyed Homes in Arkansas Wildfire Outbreak

JANUARY 9, 2006 - Posted at 7:53 a.m. CST

HAMBURG, AR - Several families in Ashley County are evacuated from their homes this morning after a 3,000-acre wildfire jumped a state highway and threatened their houses.  No injuries were reported.

State Forestry Commission officials said the massive wildfire destroyed four homes, two campaing trailers and two out buildings.  Officials also said even though firefighters worked through the night, they didn't think the blaze would be contained until sometime today.

The evacuated families lived along Arkansas State Highway 8.  They were asked to leave and spend the night with friends and relatives.  Firefighters said the fire was six miles long and one mile wide.  Firefighters from four volunteer departments used 11 dozers and two airtankers to fight the blaze.

The number of people who were evacuated or the cause of the fire was not known and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

According to The Associated Press, at least 35 wildfires burned at some point in Arkansas on Saturday or Sunday, including ten in Region 8:

-Cleburne, 2 fires, out

-Craighead, 1 fire, out

-Fulton, 1 fire, out

-Independence, 1 fire, out

-Jackson, 1 fire, out

-Lawrence, 1 fire, out

-Poinsett, 2 fires, out

-Randolph, 1 fire, out

-White, 1 fire, out.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)