United States Forest Service personnel and local fire fighters were able to contain three fires that burned almost 100 acres in Western Montgomery County according to a report provided by the U.S. Forest Service.
Tracy Farley, a representative of the U.S. Forest Service in Hot Springs, stated in a telephone interview this afternoon that three the Forest Service had responded to three fires yesterday in Montgomery County and all three had been extinguished by early this morning.
The Warren Fire, located near Black Springs, was contained around 6:30 p.m. Thursday and early reports state that there were approximately 14 acres burned in the fire.
The Briley Fire burned approximately one acre and it was contained by 7 p.m. Thursday.
The largest of the fires, known as the Gaston Fire was located near Oden, just South of the Hawg Jawl community. According to Farley The fire was contained early Friday morning, but not before approximately 80 acres were burned. She stated that Forest Service personnel will return to the scene of the fire to reevaluate the damage.
She stated that members of local volunteer fire departments assisted in battling the blazes. The forestry commission also lent the aide of a bulldozer, while a contract helicopter made water drops to help extinguish the flames.
She stated that the U.S. Forest Service had no comment on the cause of the fires at this time.
According to a press release distributed by the Arkansas Forestry Commission, October 15 was among the most dangerous for forest fires this year with 28 fires reported and over 500 acres damaged.
Montgomery County is one of 51 counties in Arkansas currently under a burn ban.
The Arkansas Forestry Commission’s press release stated “October is a normal time of year for Arkansas to experience heightened wildfire danger, however the dry conditions and low humidity present unique conditions which contribute to heightened wildfire danger. Due to conditions, most AFC personnel will not be hunting, but will be on full alert to respond to wildfire emergencies. Ground crews and dozers are available to respond to all counties. Four Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) planes are available to assist via aerial wildfire suppression by dropping water from the air. The AFC works in full partnership with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and the Arkansas Governor’s Office to respond to emergencies quickly. Report wildfires to the AFC Dispatch Center at: 1-800-468-8834.”