Arkansas dries out, fire danger increases

Saline Courier note: There have been several wildfires in the area in recent weeks, and Saline County is still under a burn ban. Here is the AP story on the issue.

LITTLE ROCK — Weather forecasters say Arkansas is showing signs of a developing drought and the state Forestry Commission is warning of a heightened fire danger.

After ample rainfall in the cooler months, precipitation levels have fallen below normal in recent weeks. The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued an advisory that moisture levels in vegetation have dropped to the point that the danger of wildfires is heightened.

The Forestry Commission lists all of the state except northeast Arkansas at a moderate danger of wildfires.

The weather service says modest amounts of rainfall are possible in parts of the state this week but not enough to reverse the dryness trend.

Forecasters urge residents to be cautious while burning and say uncontrolled fires can spread rapidly. A number of counties issued burn bans.