Crews with the Arkansas Forestry Commission are battling a wildfire in Bradley County in south Arkansas that began Wednesday and has grown to nearly 1,500 acres. The blaze was thought to be contained earlier this week but has since grown damaging one of the county's chief industries, pine tree plantations, and three homes.
“It was about 600 acres and they had it contained and they were watching it that night and then the next morning it flared up again it jumped the line and it grew. The size now is estimated at about 1,500 acres. At this time it is contained,” said Sheila Doughty with the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Doughty said the fire’s movement is now contained thanks to cooperation between agencies, “There were 33 Arkansas Forestry Commission personnel and at one point we had 18 Forestry Commission dozers working the fire. We had a couple of private industry dozers. We had numerous volunteer fire departments helping with that effort and they just worked pretty much around the clock to keep that fire contained.”
Airplanes fitted with water tanks also have been assisting, dropping over 20,000 gallons of water throughout Bradley County. The Forestry Commission lists every Arkansas County as being at least at a moderate risk of wildfires. Nearly every county in southern Arkansas is currently at a high risk.