Recent Dry Conditions Could Make for Fiery '06 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Recent Dry Conditions Could Make for Fiery '06

JANUARY 23, 2006 - Posted at 8:04 a.m. CST


LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas is in a drought, and the last quarter of 2005 was the state's driest on record. 

The dry conditions could turn 2006 into a banner year for fires.  As of January 16, more acres had burned, 9,016, than during all of the previous ten Januarys.  To fight the fires, the forestry commission currently has 98 fire plows, 15 fire-detection planes and a contract fleet of four firefighting air tankers.  Western Pilot Service of Phoenix provides the state with year-round, standby firefighting protection. 

Some timber companies also maintain firefighting equipment and crews.  The state has tried to change with the times and as timberland is sold to private developers, the state has worked with landowners to teach them about fire safety and prevention.

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

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