LITTLE ROCK — The state Forestry Commission said Tuesday it has raised the wildfire danger to extreme for most of the state and requested the assistance of the Arkansas National Guard’s Black Hawk helicopters in fighting wildfires.
The Black Hawks aided in fighting a wildfire on Mount Riante in Garland County on Tuesday. The helicopters, which can carry up to 660 gallons of water, will work elsewhere around the state as needed, the commission said.
Over the weekend, Forestry Commission crews fought 39 wildfires that burned 758 acres. On Monday they battled 23 fires.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the commission had classified the wildfire danger as extreme in all of Arkansas except for 16 counties in the eastern and northeastern parts of the state. The commission said it raised the wildfire danger for most of the state, after lowering it last week, because of high temperatures, low humidity and dry conditions.
The commission said open burning should not be attempted when the wildfire danger is extreme. It also said it urges people to be careful of any outdoor activity that might spark a fire, such as mowing, bush hogging or any activity that might cause machinery to make sparks.
All but 12 counties in the state were under burn bans Tuesday.
The National Weather Service’s forecast for the rest of the week calls for high temperatures around 100 degrees and slight chances of rain for much of the state.