Lightning From Storms Triggers Fires In Southern Arkansas

Apr 11, 2016

A burning church in El Dorado after a lightning strike.
Credit KATV, Channel 7 News

Emergency officials say storms rumbling across Arkansas are responsible for a handful of fires in the southern part of the state.

Bobby Braswell, the director of the Union County Emergency Management Service, says an oil-processing tank caught on fire Monday. Fire officials don't know whether lightning or a buildup of static electricity triggered the fire in a storage tank that had a bit of oil left inside. The fire was extinguished Monday afternoon.

Braswell says it appears lightning caused two or three other fires in Union County. He says a fire at a church near El Dorado was lightning-related.

The Storm Prediction Center says southern Arkansas could see severe weather throughout the day. A severe thunderstorm watch was posted for an area from east Texas to western Mississippi, including southern Arkansas, and forecasters say a few tornadoes were also possible.