.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters lift off October 6, 1999. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Varhegyi/U.S. Air Force/Getty Images)
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. - The Arkansas Forestry Commission requested the assistance of Arkansas National Guard Black Hawk Helicopters today.
The National Guard will work with the AFC to fight wildfire as needed. They are currently fighting a fire in Garland County on Mt. Riante. The Black Hawks are equipped with Bambi Buckets which can hold up to 660 gallons of water.
AFC firefighting crews fought 39 wildfires over the weekend which burned 758 acres. On Monday they battled 23 wildfires.
Due to high temperatures, lowering relative humidity values, and dry fuel condition the fire danger for most of the state was elevated to Extreme on Monday. All but 14 counties are under a burn ban. Open burning should not be attempted during Extreme fire danger. Open fires can quickly escape and are difficult to control. Spot fires and erratic burning conditions make fire difficult to contain, even for experienced fire fighters. This can endanger human life and property.
The AFC is encouraging everyone to obey the burn bans and be careful of any outdoor activity that might spark a fire. This includes mowing, bush hogging, and any other activity that may cause machinery sparks.
For Information on current fire ratings visit or burn bans visit www.arkansasforestry.org. There is a mobile phone application at this link as well. You may also directly access the mobile version by visiting www.arkfireinfo.org/m. To report a wildfire, call the Arkansas Forestry Commission Dispatch Center at 1-800-468-8834, or 911.
Firewise is a nationwide program that promotes creating a defensible space around homes to help protect buildings from wildfire.
Communities and fire departments can earn state and national recognition by participation in the FireWise program and fire departments can become eligible for grants. By using FireWise construction techniques and landscaping techniques, both old and new buildings can be FireWise. For tips on protecting your home from wildfire or to find out how your fire department or community can become FireWise, visit www.arkansasfirewise.com.
The Arkansas Forestry Commission's FireWise program offers these long term safety tips.
• -Create a survival zone "defensible space" of 30 to 300 feet around your home.
• -Remove branches that overhang the roof, providing 6-8 feet of clearance.
• -Be sure gutters, roof and valleys are clear of leaves.
• -Choose drought resistant plants.
• -Remove flammable items stored under decks or porches.
• -Keep firewood piles, propane tanks and other flammable items at least 30 feet from your home, deck or porch.