Arkansas Forestry Commission discourages burning

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Forestry Commission crews are working to contain a 40-acre fire northwest of Violet Hill in Izard County. The National Weather Service in Little Rock has issued a Fire Weather Watch for much of the state, and AFC encourages Arkansans to avoid burning today due to the warm temperatures, low relative humidity and windy conditions.

According to the Arkansas Forestry Commission Dispatch Center in Malvern, Garland County is the only County currently under a burn ban. However, the wildfire danger is moderate to high for the entire state.

Arkansas residents living in forested areas should begin taking measures to protect their homes from wildfire. Even the smallest steps taken can lead to a huge advantage in ensuring your home will remain standing.

With a high fire danger risk, there are a few things to remember:

Burning is strongly discouraged. This is especially true on days where humidity levels have dropped below 30 percent and winds are gusty. Fires can spread quickly in these conditions.
Be mindful that sparks from lawn mowers and hay baling equipment can start a wildfire.
Never discard cigarettes from vehicles.
Never park vehicles where grass or other vegetation can touch the exhaust system.

AFC recommends homeowners create a 30 to 100 foot (depending on the terrain) “defensible space” around their house. Defensible space is an area around a structure that provides an opportunity to modify the existing vegetation to slow the rate and intensity of an advancing wildfire.

Homeowners should thin flammable trees, such as pine, near their home and remove undergrowth that can serve as a link for grass fire to reach treetops. Also, be sure to remove dead leaves and pine needles from roofs, gutters and along the base of your home.

Other suggestions include:

Keep trees and shrubs pruned. Prune all trees from six to 10 feet above the ground.
Remove overhanging branches from your roof.
Mow your yard regularly.
Store firewood away from the house.
Dispose of cutting and debris promptly, according to local regulations.
Homeowners should use 1/8-inch screen to cover open areas underneath decks. This prevents embers from igniting vegetation beneath the deck, which can in turn ignite the structure.

For more tips on Firewise landscaping and construction, visit To view current burn bans and wildfire danger ratings, visit To report a wildfire, call the Arkansas Forestry Commission Dispatch Center at 1-800-468-8834, or 911.