Evacuation On as Landfill Fire Burns in Hope

HOPE, AR - Emergency officials say an evacuation of homes around a burning landfill in Hempstead County is continuing.

Officials say the fire broke out this morning, though the cause is unknown.  State Emergency Management Dept. spokesman Tommy Jackson says the fire is confined to the top of a quarter-mile long hill in the landfill.  Firefighters are moving dirt to put out the flames.

A shelter has been opened but Jackson says none of the residents have gone there.  He says the shelter will be open for several more hours in case someone needs assistance.

The evacuated homes are within a mile-and-one-half radius around the landfill along U.S. 67.

Officials say the evacuation is precautionary and that air quality is being mentioned.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)