Montgomery County News, Arkansas -

Prescribed fire activity temporarily suspended by USDA Forest Service in southern states

Ouachita National Forest ServiceHOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service announced today that all new ignitions for prescribed fire have been postponed until further notice.

The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are within the Southern Region.

“Health and safety are our top priorities,” said Shardul Raval, director of Fire and Aviation for the Southern Region. “This decision respects people in our communities who are medically fragile and it supports social distancing because our fire crews won’t be out traveling to prescribed fire sites.”

The Forest Service always considers the potential impact of smoke on the community when managing prescribed fires and wildfires.

Forest Service officials will coordinate with local and state health organizations to adapt if conditions evolve.

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