Rain Expected In Arkansas On July 4th, But Wildfires Still A Danger

Jul 2, 2018

The wildfire danger is listed as moderate for 20 of Arkansas's 75 counties as of July 2.
Credit Arkansas Forestry Commission

Rain is in the forecast for much of Arkansas for July 4th, but the potential for wildfires still exists.

Meteorologist Jeff Hood with the National Weather Service said showers should pass through before the evening fireworks shows begin.

"It doesn't look like a rainout, but some parts of the state are going to be dealing with scattered showers and thunderstorms," said Hood. 

There are no active burn bans in the state, but both the National Weather Service and the Arkansas Forestry Commission are cautioning residents to be careful for the potential of accidental wildfires when setting off fireworks.

Adriane Barnes, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Agriculture Department, said the wildfire danger has been raised to moderate for 20 counties in central and southern Arkansas.

"These summer storms can move through and bring rain in one end of the county and not the other, so there is a little bit of false security when you're talking about rain because it's so sparsely distributed. If you've got brown grass, if you've got brown trees and leaves and shrubs, it means that your area might be more dry than others, so perhaps use extra caution," Barnes said.

According to Barnes, an unusually high number of wildfires in Arkansas this year have been caused by lightning strikes. The frequency of wildfires is still significantly lower than 2012 when 2,148 fires burned 34,434 acres across the state.

Arkansas residents can report wildfires to the Arkansas Agriculture Department Dispatch Center by calling 1-800-468-8834.