Fire crews across Arkansas on high alert for potential wildfires

Red flag warning: Crew ready for anything under burn ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Burn bans have taken over the majority of Arkansas counties and officials say this warning should be taken very seriously. 

“Even if you're not under a burn ban, red flag warnings indicate that wind and low humidity could create an out of control wildfire in a matter of moments,” said Adriane Barnes, with the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

For example, two separate wildfires were reported in northwest Arkansas Sunday, along Arkansas Highway 21, on the north side of Boxley Valley. The forest fires combined burned close to 100 acres of private and national park lands.

Barnes said a lot of people are worried that what's been happening in California could happen here in Arkansas.

“Comparing Arkansas fire behavior to California fire behavior doesn't make sense at all,” she explained.

Barnes said unlike California, Arkansas has humidity and the terrain and conditions just aren't comparable.

“They have winds that blow over 40 to 50 miles per hour and the winds blow for days on end and we don't usually have those conditions," she said.

If a wildfire were to break out, the Little Rock fire department said they're prepared.

“We have a brush truck that carries 150 gallons of water and 10 gallons of foam,” said engineer firefighter Michael Roberts.

The brush truck and the brush gator stay at station 23 in west Little Rock and there's a reason for that.

“West Little Rock has a higher risk of brush fires due to the terrain compared to downtown because downtown is flat and the buildings are really close together. West Little Rock is more mountainous and the houses are further apart,” Roberts said.

Captain Gray said no matter where you live in the state right now, there's a risk.

“While the burn ban is active, we take is seriously, and we expect you to take it seriously,” he said.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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