LITTLE ROCK, Ark — A lot of people are stretching the holiday season into the new year, but as decorations fall and trees dry up, it might be time to pack it up.
Little Rock Fire Department Captain Doug Coffman said a dry tree takes three to five seconds to become fully engulfed in flames and can emit around 2,000 degrees of heat.
Over the years, Coffman said they've seen quite a few fires started by Christmas trees, just some of the estimated 200 nationwide every year.
"Typically people will have [trees] close to other combustibles you put like a couch or drapes or something along those lines," Coffman said. "Then it just spreads throughout the house quickly."
Coffman also said that if you still have decorations on your trees, it might be time to take those down as well.
"The lights make them more dangerous," Coffman said. "The oils can react just to the lights or if there's a short in one of your wires, it can catch on fire really easily."
While people can still put real Christmas trees on the curb, Arkansas Game and Fish's Randy Zellers said there's another way to recycle to make it the ultimate Christmas gift.
"The tree I mean, it's still got a lot of life, and to give left in it back down in the water," Zellers said. "It's sort of habitat for the holidays is what we like to call it."
Arkansans can donate trees for habitats at dozens of locations, which helps fish and fishers alike for over 20 years.
"All the little small fish, they'll all come to those brush piles and that's where the larger fish come," Zellers said. "That's where the anglers go to fish for the larger fish is around that tree."
The Arkansas Game and Fish will be accepting trees long after the jingle bells stop ringing
"Even if it's getting late, and you're a procrastinator... all the way through to January, you'll be able to drop that tree off," Zellers said.
Catching a safe end to your holiday season, and making sure it doesn't all go up in flames.
"If you have a live tree in your house, we would encourage you to take it out sooner rather than later," Coffman said.