JOHNSON, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As of July 20, nearly all counties in Arkansas are under a burn ban and many are at high risk for wildfire danger.
You can view the Arkansas maps of active burn bans and wildfire risk here.
Chief Chance Wright with the Johnson Fire Department said big fires start small, so he advises against all burning.
In fact, KNWA/FOX24 was hoping to have Chief Wright demonstrate how easily fires can be started right now. Although, with the current severity of fire danger, Chief Wright said it wasn’t worth the risk, even with a capable fire department at the ready.
Chief Wright said right now the grass and leaves are dry and with unpredictable winds, any burning could result in a large fire. He said this includes using the barbecue grill.
He said if you need to grill, he recommends soaking the ground beneath it with water and keeping a fire extinguisher close by. Although, he said right now, he’d rather you avoid any activity that could risk even a small spark.
“Be safe and please no, no burning outside,” said Chief Wright.
Chief Wright said you’ll get fined if you’re caught violating a burn ban.
If you do start an unwanted fire, the first step is to call 911. Then you can take measures to keep it from spreading, such as taking a water hose and spraying a pathway, making a water-soaked barrier for the fire.