Logan County remains under a ban on outdoor burning after high winds, low humidity and dry conditions contributed to several wildfires over the last two weeks.
One blaze on Saturday, Feb. 15 destroyed a home in the Schwartz Addition, just west of Paris.
Logan County Judge Gus Young re-instituted a county wide ban on outdoor burning last Thursday morning. The burn ban took effect just 17 days after the first ban of the year had been lifted. That ban had been instituted on Jan. 22.
According to the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s website, Logan, as well as Franklin, Madison and Washington counties, were under burn bans as of last Thursday afternoon. By last Friday, the count had risen to nine.
Also on Friday, the Forestry Commission rated Logan and 11 other counties encompassing all of northwest Arkansas, as high for wildfire danger. Another 17 counties in north and central Arkansas were rated as moderate in terms of wildfire danger.
Dustin Krigbaum of the Arkansas Forestry Commission’s work center in Paris, said rural fire departments in the county fought several wildfires last week.
"There were three wildfires Thursday," he said.
A burn pile from the previous weekend was re-ignited by high winds Thursday and the fire burned two acres on Core Road, Krigbaum said. There were two wildfires last Thursday on Delaware Bay Road, Krigbaum said.
"We actually had a waiting list for bulldozers last Thursday," Krigbaum said.
A home on Schwartz Lane near Paris was destroyed by fire on Saturday, Feb. 15, according to Pairs Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Wells. The property owners weren’t home at the time, Wells said.
The fire was started when a neighbor burned trash behind his house, Wells said. Dry conditions and gusty winds carried sparks from that fire to the grass. The grass caught fire and the wind drove it into the home, Wells said.
The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. and Paris units were called to the scene to aid the Roseville Fire Department.
"The house was fully engulfed in flames when we got there," Wells said. "Roseville units called us for help before they got to the scene so our units were the first to arrive. Part of the house was sided with cedar, which caught fire. I can’t remember seeing a house catch fire that fast."
The house fire was reported shortly after Paris firemen returned to the station house from a residence on Wiggins Drive in Paris where they put out a grass fire, Wells said.
That fire began when a property owner was burning a stump. Wind drove sparks from that fire onto the grass, igniting it.
"The fire got to within three feet of the house and within one foot of a shed," Wells said. "We were able to get it quickly put out."
Dry and windy conditions also contributed to a grass fire in Golden City on Sunday, Feb. 16, Krigbaum said.
A property owner was burning a brush fire when wind-blown sparks ignited the surrounding grass. Krigbaum said the fire burned five acres.
Krigbaum said dry grass, low humidity and high winds contributed to the fire.