A county-wide burn ban was issued for Faulkner County Friday.
Judge Jim Baker issued the announcement effective July 13 until further notice.
As of Friday afternoon, according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s burn ban map, Faulkner County was one of five listed that had a burn ban issued.
The Log Cabin Democrat spoke with Adriane Barnes, the director of communications at the Arkansas Agriculture Department, regarding burns bans.
First, she said, it’s important to know that all county judges are responsible for officially declaring a burn ban in a county.
To determine if one is needed, Barnes said, the county judge talks with the local fire departments about calls they may have gone on related to fire conditions, looks at drought maps, the weather, speaks with the forestry commission and considers other important factors.
Once a county is officially declared, they update the burn ban map located on the commission’s website.
According to the most updated drought monitor, Barnes said, Faulkner County is currently under a moderate drought — right in the middle fo the U.S. drought monitoring scale — a warning.
She said the only parts of the state that are suffering under a severe drought are areas in the southwestern part of Arkansas near Louisiana.
Barnes said Faulkner County is at moderate fire danger, determined by the commission, not severe, which is caused by factors including high humidity, dry conditions and lower vegetation moisture; the county has two out of three.
While a possible ticket is in store for people who don’t adhere to burn bans, she said, another important reason to abide by those recommendations is for safety.
Barnes said for the commission, a burn ban is put in place because of wild fires, which can possibly be caused by arson and debris fires or anything that is outdoors.
“That’s why burn bans go on is to shut that down,” she said.
The Arkansas Agriculture Department does offer safe burning tips for landowners on it’s website as well as information regarding prescript burns and more.