SEBASTIAN COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Sebastian County has issued a burn ban, prohibiting the outdoor burning of trash, debris, brush and all other materials due to extremely dry conditions.

According to a press release, Sebastian County Judge David Hudson issued the order, which goes into effect immediately. The statement notes that “lawns, fields and wooded areas are exceptionally dry and the flash point for outdoor fires is unusually low.”

The statement adds that conditions will continue to dry out vegetation and spread fire more quickly without any significant rain. Judge Hudson said that the ban is for “the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the County” and that the ban is in effect “until such time as relief from the hazardous dry weather situation is provided.”

The factors of built-in, self-producing wind from open fires were cited as compounding factors because they “cause extreme difficulties in containing and controlling outdoor fires as well as the hazard and threat to life for those attempting to control and extinguish the flames.”

Violators may be prosecuted in compliance with the County Ordinance and are subject to fines from $25-$300.

The statement concludes by adding that the ban will remain until “sufficient rain has reduced the fire hazard.”