UPDATE: Wildfire continues to burn in Garland County

Wildfire near Lake Ouachita State Park 90 percentcontained

UPDATE: Monday afternoon, a spokesperson with the ForestService told Channel Seven that the wildfire near Lake Ouachita State Park onthe Little Blakely Trail System is 90 percent contained. It beganFriday, January 24 and has spread to about 2,000 acres.

It is estimated that the fire willbe 98 percent contained by Tuesday. Current fire activity is minimal with no tolight smoke being generated. Forest Service personnel willcontinue to monitor the area in case of flare-ups. All trailswithin the trail system remain closed until further notice.

The cause of the fire is underinvestigation.

Channel Seven's Justin Lewis willhave the details at 5 & 6.




GARLAND COUNTY (KATV, Source: AFC) - A large wildfire is burning in Garland County at the National Forest near Lake Ouachita State Park.{}According to the Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC), it has grown to 200 acres.{}

In all, 48 wildfires burned over the weekend; twenty-one homes were within close proximity of flames and saved by suppression efforts. Individual fires were mostly 5-10 acres in size. A total of 217 acres burned across the state; which does not include a fire reported on Ouachita National Forest, northwest of Lake Ouachita State Park.

Joe Fox is the AFC State Forester. He says,{}"Crews from the Arkansas Forestry Commission have worked 237 fires so far in January of 2014. That is equal to 30% of all wildfires fought last year in Arkansas. We are beginning - in what appears to be - a much more dangerous year for wildfire activity than we experienced last year. We ask all homeowners and citizens in Arkansas to continue to be very careful."

The AFC has a fleet of 16 planes to assist with fire detection and suppression; 14 of the aircraft are used for fire detection, the additional two planes are twin-engine vessels used in air attack (air attack manages the air space over a forest fire).

Current plans include the arrival of four SEATs (single-engine air tankers) on February 1st to help ground crews with fire suppression via aerial fire suppression tactics. These are staged at Hot Springs and may be deployed throughout Arkansas according to wildfire frequency.

Joe Fox says today's conditions create high wildfire danger potential across Arkansas because of winds exceeding 10 mph in most counties. Humidity levels will also be below 40%, which makes fuels including grass, shrubs, and trees - even more combustible than they already are. Fire danger will continue through the week. {}

To see which counties are under burn bans, CLICK HERE.

To report a wildfire, or inquire about wildfire danger, call the AFC Dispatch Center at 1-800-468-8834.{}

Channel Seven's Justin Lewis is in Garland County. He will have details at 5 & 6. You can also follow Justin Lewis on Twitter.