LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As of Monday afternoon, 10 counties in Arkansas are under burn bans and the list keeps on growing.
On top of that, most of southern Arkansas is under moderate wildfire danger.
Joe Fox is a state forester with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and he said this sudden wave of dry air seemed like it came out of nowhere.
"Well, it's pretty interesting in 2019, we've had a very wet year until right now," he said.
From floods to drought—now, it's been two full weeks of dry air across Arkansas.
Fox said people need to know of the risks.
"It's really dangerous. It's dry. The grass is dry and brown, the trees are reacting to the drought by dropping leaves, which adds more fuel to the fires," he said.
Fox tracked 13 fires this past weekend alone in southern Arkansas.
"Our problems mainly right now are the south half of the state, which we have under a moderate burn warning or a wildfire condition," he said.
Fox said moderate wildfire danger is measured by the Keetch-Byram Drought Index. This index ranges from 0 to 800 with 0 being very wet and 800 being very dry.
"All of south Arkansas is in the 6 to 700's right now, which is very dry," he said.
The list of counties under burn bans continues to grow, which is enacted by county judges.
"That means there is no outdoor burning anywhere for any reason in the county," Fox said.
He said he doesn't see this list shrinking anytime soon.
"I would suspect that we would have nearly twice that much by the end of this week, maybe even three times as many," Fox said.
The humidity has been hovering between 30 and 40 percent with winds up to 15 miles per hour and no rain in the forecast. Foresters remind everyone: only you can prevent wildfires.
"Don't throw your cigarettes out, don't be bush hogging where you might hit rocks and cause sparks. Be very careful with exhaust of cars parked over dried grass," he said.
Fox said don't expect these burn bans to lift any time soon.
"Cover the whole state with an inch of rain once a week for the rest of the fall would get us out of this condition," he said.
To report a wildfire, go to the Forestry Division of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's website, and you will find numbers you can call.
These calls go to their 24/7 dispatch center.