Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Cleveland, Drew and Lincoln counties in Southeast Arkansas are among the 30 counties in Arkansas under burn bans as of October 2, due to dry conditions, gusty winds and low humidity.
Outdoor burning is prohibited in counties where burn bans have been issued. Bans are issued by county judges.
“Due to dry conditions and predicted weather factors like strong winds and low humidity – which contribute to high wildfire danger, we ask that all Arkansans use extreme caution with any fire,” State Forester Joe Fox said in a news release Friday. “It would be best to avoid outdoor burning of any kind until conditions change. Get outside and enjoy this great weather, but remember that wildfires could spread quickly from our control. Please use good judgement and keep the safety of all citizens in mind.”
The wildfire danger is high in most of the southern half of the state and moderate elsewhere.
To date, 11,515 acres have burned in 878 reported wildfires in Arkansas.
This year’s wildfire statistics are relatively low compared to the last year of high wildfire frequency – which was 2012, when 34,434 acres burned. In both 2013 and 2014, Arkansas experienced lower-than-normal wildfire frequency. Arkansas has had good growing seasons this year and the previous two years, alongside fewer wildfires, which also means more fuels are on the ground for wildfires to burn, according to a news release from the Arkansas Forestry Commission.