LITTLE ROCK, AR – Dry conditions and weather forecasts for high temperatures, little rain and dry air will create moderate wildfire danger across Arkansas throughout the July 4th holiday. With firework displays planned between now through the following weekend, the Arkansas Agriculture Department’s Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) advises residents to use caution and closely monitor for outdoor burning and sparks from firework displays.
The Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) Dispatch Center is operational 24 hours every day, including holidays. Residents can report wildfires to the Dispatch Center by calling 1-800-468-8834. 20 Arkansas counties in central and southwest areas are currently under moderate wildfire danger; all other counties remain under low wildfire danger at this time. There are currently no active Arkansas Burn Bans. Stay updated on wildfire danger and burn bans, which are declared by county judges, at www.arkfireinfo.org.
“We want Arkansans to enjoy July 4th celebrations across the state, but to pay close attention to sparks from firework displays and flames from outdoor burning,” says State Forester Joe Fox. “Conditions vary across counties but in some areas the heat and lack of humidity are drying out grasses and forests. We are asking all Arkansans to be mindful of their surroundings and be extra careful to extinguish embers remaining from fireworks and campfires. Our crews are ready to assist in all areas of the state in any way that we can to ensure a safe, fun holiday for everyone.”
Thus far in 2018, 17,150 acres have burned in 790 wildfires. In June, 1,473 acres have burned in 90 wildfires. Last year, a total of 1,566 wildfires burned 27,549 acres. The most recent highest wildfire frequency year was in 2012 when 2,148 wildfires burned 34,434 acres.
“While we hope for a relaxing 4th of July holiday for all Arkansans we have personnel and equipment located throughout the state that are ready to respond at a moment’s notice,” says Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward. “Keeping Arkansans and our natural resources safe is a primary part of our mission. We appreciate everyone taking additional precautions during fireworks ceremonies and other holiday celebrations in the coming weeks.”
The AFC is an agency of the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD). The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Visit www.agriculture.arkansas.gov.