Firefighters were still working Friday evening to contain two of the five forest fires that broke out in the Hermitage area.
Three had been contained but one, which had already burned about 200 acres, was only about 50 percent contained and another, that had burned about 60 acres, was still not contained at 5:15 p.m. Friday, according to Joe Friend, Arkansas Forestry Commission district forester.
The uncontained fires were on opposite sides of Hermitage in Bradley County, one about five miles southeast of town and the other about five miles northeast of town, he said.
While it is not clear what started the fires, Friend suspects that some may have been caused by dry lightning.
“Normally lightning doesn’t cause fires around here because we usually have rain but the majority of the fires we’ve had this summer were lightning,” he said.
Friend said the Arkansas Forestry Commission had five dozers out working to contain the two fires. Three were at one fire and two were at another.
Since June 1, AFC crews have suppressed 551 wildfires that have burned 5,956 acres. The 10-year average for June 1 through August 31 is 313 wildfires for 2,846 acres.