Fire season

Although wildfires can occur anytime, springtime and late summer/early fall are especially high risk due to drier air and dry vegetation. Throw in people who burn thatch in their lawns in spring or let grill embers get away from them and poof! wildland wildfires.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The smoke cloud below, from March 29, originated with a prescribed or controlled burn in Perry County — meaning the fire was set to eliminate material that could quickly give rise to a highly destructive fire.

Fire is nature’s way of renewing the forests in the Ouachitas. Pictures from the 1800s show vast burned out areas. If you live in a forested area, be sure to stay tuned to http://www.arkfireinfo.org/and www.arkansasfirewise.com. The National Weather Service also issues fire watches when conditions are right for wildland fires.

Prescribed burn in Perry County
The setting sun shines through smoke rising from a prescribed, or controlled, burn in Perry County on March 29.