Faulkner County, as well as the cities of Conway and Mayflower, issued burn bans this week citing excessive heat and a lack of rain as the main causes.

According to Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin, the county-wide ban went into effect Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. Scroggin said the dry conditions led to the ban.

“We had a fire start today from a Bushhog striking a rock,” Scroggin said. “When you get a fire started from something like that, it’s serious.”

Captain Mike Rhoades with the Conway Fire Department said a burn ban went into effect Monday within the Conway city limits. Rhoades said the fire department has not seen many grassfires, but expected an increase with the high temperatures and lack of rain in the forecast.

Mayflower Fire Chief Carl Rossini gave similar reasons for initiating the Mayflower ban Wednesday morning. Rossini said the Mayflower Fire Department has seen a few grassfires recently, including a blaze on Sunday that was started by a car.

“It’s hot enough now that a piece of glass in the sun and heat could start a fire,” Rossini said. “Conditions are really dangerous right now, even for firefighters. It’s a health issue for firefighters to get out there now.”

Rossini said a major component in keeping the number of fires down is public awareness.

“The public should watch for burn ban signs and be aware of what’s going on around them,” Rossini said.

Scroggin echoed the same sentiment urging residents to take caution to prevent fires.

According to the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s Web site, 20 counties have issued burn bans as of Wednesday, including Faulkner, Conway, Van Buren, White, Searcy and Pope counties.

(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at stephanie.fischer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)