Fires Spreading In Counties Without Active Burn Bans

GRANT COUNTY, Ark.-- A small Central Arkansas fire department gave a big warning Sunday night.

The Sheridan Fire Department says Arkansans who live in counties not currently under a burn ban should think twice before striking a match. 

Captain Ben Hammond showed us how just a little bit of water can make a big difference on grass even outside his fire station. 

He said, "This right here would not take very long for this to burn and spread very quickly."

As of Sunday night, Grant County does not have an active burn ban. 
"Absolutely. Absolutely. Think twice about it. I would think more times than that," the captain said. 

Captain Hammond also serves as the city's fire marshall. 

He said, "If this was in your backyard, this could just as easily spread right to your house."

Hammond showed us a picture of a fire pit on his cell phone. 

He described it as, 'Probably a three foot by three-foot circle."

On Saturday he said that small fire jumped the rocks surrounding it near Grapevine, about 20 minutes from the station.

"It can spread to an acre, two acres and beyond that with these kind of weather conditions," he said.

He said that small fire quickly burned nearly 30 acres. 

Our reporter Price McKeon got to jump in the fire truck and see what conditions the firefighters were talking about. 

Hammond said, "Naturally people want to get out and they want to start to rake their leaves and they want to do the fall cleanup the yard."

Driving along the Grant County paved roads and dirt roads the trees changed from green to brown to black. 

"Once it starts to spread it can literally spread like wildfire," Hammond said. 

We got a look at a part of the nearly 30 charred acres. 

He said, "Do your cleaning. Get your leaves I would suggest maybe buying some of those orange bags with the pumpkin face on them this time of year  put them in there  "

Even though the volunteer firefighters are prepared they said they don't want anyone to lose a home or worse a life.

We learned from the fire department that on Saturday two different wildland fires burned dozens of acres in Grant County forcing multiple departments and the forestry department to take action. 

The county judge decides if and when to issue a burn ban. 


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