With a burn ban in full effect, a ban on fireworks set by county offices and seemingly no rain in sight, fires have sprouted up throughout the county over the weekend.
The Faulkner County Road Department is doing what it can to assist volunteer fire departments, according to County Judge Preston Scroggin.
“We have three 4,000-gallon tankers stationed throughout the county,” Scroggin said. “One in West Conway, one in Enola and one in the Vilonia area. They are there to assist volunteer fire departments if they need anything.”
Scroggin said the area fire departments are in charge of every situation and the trucks are there only as assistance, but in areas such as Faulkner County where a wildfire can jump county roads, having a tanker that can flood a roadside to prevent fires from “jumping the road” can be a very important weapon to have when fighting wildfires.
The tankers have the ability, when needed, to spray 150 feet, which can be helpful when dousing the area around a grass fire, such as a recent one in Vilonia.
When dispatch officials identify a wildfire, one of the tankers should be in a close enough proximity to help respond, Scroggin said. The service trucks are also available to provide drinking water for the firefighters and Arkansas Forestry Service personnel. At last week’s fire in Holland, two trucks responded but neither were needed.
Scroggin said he visited with Lonoke and Conway county authorities who are both dealing with the same challenges during the extra-dry summer. He reiterated his stance on the ban of fireworks and the already implemented burn ban.
“Although I don’t have that type of authority, I am going to be very concerned with anyone who thinks they can burn something in this environment,” he said. “I will make sure they get a visit from people in authority.”