Weather Service Issues Warnings for Arkansas Fires

DECEMBER 28, 2005 - Posted at 8:55 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Dry air is causing record-breaking high temperatures in parts of Arkansas.

In Little Rock, yesterday's temperature reached 76 degrees, breaking the record high of 74, set in 1971.  In North Little Rock, temperatures reached 73 degrees.  The record had been 70 degrees, hit in 1988.

Fort Smith tied its record of 76 degrees, which had been set in 1989.  And in Texarkana the high temperature reached 78, breaking the record set in 1932.

Yesterday's high temperature mark in Jonesboro was 68 degrees.

National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Iniguez said a strong low-pressure system brought in dry air, which can heat up quickly.

He predicted slightly cooler temperatures for today, with high temperatures across the state ranging from 50 to 70 degrees.

The same hot, dry weather contributed to grass fires in Oklahoma and Texas that damaged homes.

Because of the continued threat of fire, 16 Arkansas counties are under a burn ban.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)