Lightning Sparked Many Arkansas Wildfires This Summer

August 3, 2012

More than 1,000 wildfires burned this year in Arkansas and plenty of them have been started by people, either accidentally or deliberately.

But the head of the Arkansas Forestry Commission said Wednesday that lightning has become a much more common cause of wildfires because of the dry conditions.

Normally lighting causes less than 15 percent of Arkansas wildfires and in some years, less than 3 percent.

State Forester Joe Fox says lightning has caused more than half of fires in the last two months.

Fox says that small thunderstorms that pop up often bring lightning strikes that hit where no rain is falling – and that’s how the fires start.

Those fires tend to be in remote areas. Fires started by people usually are along roads or near homes.

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