Burn Ban Impacting All But 18 Arkansas Counties

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ROGERS (KFSM) – The majority of Arkansas counties is facing burn bans.
As of Monday (Oct. 19) all but 18 of the state’s counties were restricting controlled burns.
Two of the counties not currently under a burn ban are Washington and Benton counties, and city fire departments within those counties are noticing the difference.
For the Rogers Fire Department, wildfires in city limits aren’t at the forefront of their concerns.
“Even though it has been a little dry, we have been fortunate in Northwest Arkansas to escape burn bans,” said Fire Chief Tom Jenkins. “It does seem that this area has better luck with wild fires, than the rest of the state. We just deal with a fire risk that is much smaller.”
Adrianne Barnes with the Arkansas Forestry Commission said a mix of bad conditions made fire risk throughout the central and southern portion of the state high.
“When that formula comes together, dry vegetation, plus humidity below 30 percent, and gusty winds of more than 10-to-15mph, you have a very likely wild fire situation on your hands.” Barnes said.
Which is why, even though Northwest Arkansas has not seen the same danger levels as the rest of the state, both Barnes and Jenkins asked everyone to refrain from burning for the time being.
“Even if your county isn’t under a burn ban, we absolutely discourage all outdoor burning everywhere,” Barnes said.
“If at all possible, don’t burn outside ever,” Jenkins said.
Even though Benton and Washington counties are not currently at high risk, Jenkins suggested the local professionals are still ready for anything that presents itself.
“The fire department is prepared, regardless,” Jenkins said.