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Several Arkansas counties under burn bans and wildfire danger

As we're moving into drier weather in Arkansas, the concern for wildfires has been growing. Now several counties in the state are under burn bans.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — As Arkansas moves into drier weather the concern for wildfires has grown.

Five counties are under a burn ban right now: White, Hempstead, Miller, Lafayette, and Chicot.

The southern half of the state is also under wildfire danger, including Jefferson County.

On Monday, Watson Chapel dealt with wildfires for the first time this season.

"It's been the first day in a while where we've had two woods fires in some time," said Watson Chapel Assistant Fire Chief, Steven Tidwell.

One of those fires was off Sorrells Road near the railroad tracks, but it is unknown how the fire started.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture said this year has been pretty typical for wildfires in the state and this is about the time we typically see the weather dry out.

This comes after last year when Arkansas saw a higher-than-average number of wildfires.

Watson Chapel was one of those areas that saw significant fire threats. People evacuated from their homes, but thankfully there was no structural damage.

"I've been doing this for 20 years," said Tidwell. "Last year is the worst as far as having to evacuate people and threatening houses that I've ever dealt with."

That's why the fire department has been preparing and hoping the people at home prepare too.

"Just a tiny spark from anything will cause it to go out of control, and before you know it, we've got a hundred-acre fire we are dealing with," said Tidwell.

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