Around midday on Sunday, two separate fires were reported along Arkansas Highway 21, on the north side of Boxley Valley, involving a combination of private and national park lands.
The Whitley Fire was estimated at 50 acres and the Edgeman Fire was estimated to be 15 acres before the two fires "coalesced into one fire." According to a press release from the National Park Service at Buffalo National River, the fire is continuing to burn but it is within a containment zone.
Firefighters are working to reinforce the containment zone with both hand lines and mechanical line construction. The efforts to contain the fire are happening on hillsides in rough terrain, making the job that much harder. Firefighters will now have to battle the fire with the threat of "high winds and dry fuel."
Crews from Buffalo National River’s Fire Module, Arkansas Forestry Commission, and the Deer, Ponca and Mount Sherman volunteer fire departments provided initial response.
While the start of both fires remain under investigation, officials report there have been no injuries or damage to any property.
At this time, 60 counties are under an active burn ban.
Baxter Bulletin contributed to this report.
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