A burn ban has been issued for Union County, placing the area on the list with the majority of Arkansas counties that have been taken hold by an abnormally dry autumn.
Union County Judge Mike Loftin issued the ban Tuesday after getting the word from the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
“The forestry commission called and asked for it. They had a few (wild)fires to tend to, and they thought we needed one, so I put it on. I let them make that call,” Loftin said.
With nearly all 75 counties in Arkansas under a burn ban issued by county judges and the entire state under high alert for wildfires, the AFC has been on the lookout for wildfires in the most prone areas of the county, particularly forested lands.
Overall fuel sales have been down this year for South Arkansas Regional Airport at Goodwin Field, but airport manager Jonathan Estes said this week that the AFC has purchased “a pretty good amount of Avgas” in recent months as officials traverse the county by air in search of wildfires.
The burn ban makes all outdoor burning — including yard waste, barrels, campfires and fire pits — illegal in Union County while it is in effect.
“We’re going to have to a significant rainfall to lift it,” Loftin said.
Unlawful burning is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or up to a year in jail.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.