Arkansas burn bans spreading like wildfire

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The scorching temperatures coupled with wind and little rain have prompted almost every county in north-central Arkansas to issue burn bans.

Zero counties had burn bans in place on July 4, but only two days later on the sixth, there were 25. Additionally, over half of the state is under moderate wildfire danger.

In Little Rock over the fourth of July weekend, the majority of calls firefighters responded to were grass or brush fires. From noon July 3 through the end of July 5, the Little Rock Fire Department (LRFD) fought 50 fires, and 31 were from grass or brush.

“Definitely the grass fires are dominating,” asserted LRFD Captain Jason Weaver.

While going to meet Captain Weaver, at the Little Rock Fire Department Wednesday, we saw smoke in the distance, and sure enough, a grass fire was the cause.

“We’ve got just enough breeze to push the fire and to keep the grass dry. We haven’t had rain lately. All of those and the heat just attribute to it,” Weaver said.

Down the street from Wednesday’s brush fire, Rodrick Cunningham is trying to stay in the air conditioning and out of danger.

“It sure is easy for it to spread because it’s dry. There’s nothing moist or wet,” Rodrick stated.

One way he and firefighters say will help is to put the fireworks down. Several littered the areas of recent fires, including Wednesdays.

“People are not really worried about that though,” Cunningham said. “They just want to pop fireworks, and they’re not worried about fire.”

According to the Little Rock Fire Department, fireworks were mentioned in home, business, and grass fires alike this week, and in cities the likelihood of multiple homes being affected multiplies.

“Everybody enjoys them, but it’s against the law and this is why,” Weaver said.

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