LITTLE ROCK, Ark – After beginning the week with a state-wide moderate wildfire risk, the Arkansas Forestry Division has moved several northwest counties to high-risk status Wednesday.

The counties are a solid block in the northwest corner of Arkansas, made up of Benton, Carroll, Boone, Washington, Madison, Newton, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Sebastian, Logan and Pope counties.

According to forestry officials, at the high-risk status, fires can ignite easily and spread quickly. The officials also said that unattended fires will likely escape boundaries and that fires can quickly become serious if crews cannot respond early.

As of Wednesday, 51 of the state’s 75 counties have burn bans issued.

Benton County Fire Marshal Gary Yarno says due to the “lack of wildfire activity” and higher humidity in the county, a burn ban has not been issued now.

Yarno says he is checking with the state’s forestry division daily and 911 dispatchers on conditions and fire calls in Benton County. He said he does anticipate issuing a burn ban potentially later in the week.

Washington County Judge Joseph Wood issued a burn ban in the county on Tuesday, July 12.

Despite a few rainstorms rolling through the Natural State on Tuesday, conditions around Arkansas remain very dry. Central Arkansas is likely to not see any more rainfall this week.

The National Weather Service’s most recent Drought Monitor report shows that much of the northern half of Arkansas, as well as the fringes on the western, southern and eastern borders, are all abnormally dry.