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High wildfire risk warning in Arkansas - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

High wildfire risk warning in Arkansas

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Hempstead, Ark. -

While Spring and Summer are typically the most active fire seasons, Arkansas fire officials say the colder months shouldn't trick anyone into thinking there's no fire danger.

Winter winds, low humidity and dried vegetation all combine to make a dangerous mix for potential wildfires.

According to the Arkansas Foresty Commission, the entire state is now under high wildfire danger.

"I really think people let their guard down this time of year, as far as, fire hazards go," said Jon Barry, Extension Forester, Southwest Research and Extension Center, Hope, Arkansas.

He says in the winter the vegetation stays bone dry, even after a good soaking.

"This time of year the grass is either dead or dormant," explained Barry. "It drys out very quickly, even when the soil is wet the plant is not taking up any water because the plant is dormant."

In Hempstead County, fire crews have been battling about two wildfires a day for the last couple of weeks.

Barry says many of the blazes have been caused by arson or by people burning trash.

While there are no burn bans in Sevier, Little River, Hempstead, Miller, LaFayette or Nevada counties, Barry says that could change soon.

"If you need to do some burning, call your county sheriff's department first and make sure your not under a burn ban," said Barry.
    
For more information about burn bans and wildfire danger go to www.arkfireinfo.org.

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