Special Thanks to the Hot Springs Fire Department and to the support of private property owners and the additional local, state and national agencies for keeping the fire under control, your team work ensured the success of this project. Anything that reduces the threat of wildfires will make our community a safer place to live and do business.
Kindest Thoughts and Wishes,
Lee and Rick
HOT SPRINGS COMPLETES SERIES OF DOWNTOWN BURNS ON FEB 28
Hot Springs, Arkansas – A small area behind downtown Hot Springs, between the city limits and the National Park, was burned in piles today as part of efforts of the Hot Springs Fire Department, the National Park, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the City of Hot Springs officials, Lake Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department and Wheatley Properties. Never have so many agencies, across multiple jurisdictions, completed a burn of this nature in such close proximity to the downtown area.
“Today’s conditions provided for an almost perfect fire scene. It was a privilege to coordinate an effort that saw multiple agencies working in the same operation – and one that has been so important to increasing the safety of downtown Hot Springs,” said Incident Commander and Hot Springs firefighter, Bill Bradburry.
Lookouts were posted from either entrance to the hiking trail in the area. Additionally, ladder trucks, brush trucks and mobile water units moved with the crews as they lit each brush pile on this strip of land owned by Wheatley Properties. To ensure maximum safety precautions, only 2-3 brush piles were lit at once. From 8:30 am until 2 pm, 7 of the 10 total brush piles were burned.
The small flames today have successfully reduced the fuel load in this highly sensitive area. The results are threefold: 1) Most importantly, the wildfire safety of Hot Springs is greater thanks to less accumulation of dry, highly flammable fuels in this area so close to downtown; 2) This space is now cleared of excess debris and vegetation, which allows for easier water and emergency access should a fire ever start behind these downtown buildings; 3) Finally, this burn allows for an added barrier between overgrown brush and trees between the city and the National Park. More burns are planned for the future that can be completed more safely now because of added space between wildland and the downtown area.
Little smoke lingered in the city today as wind conditions lifted most of it out of the Historic District. With a bit of fresh rain, high humidity, and a little wind, the scene provided for safely lit burn piles. Besides a few hikers in the area, residents and visitors to downtown experienced little inconvenience.
The Hot Springs Fire Department and all participating agencies appreciate your cooperation with this downtown project. Should you have any questions or concerns, please call 501-321-6971. For further information about safe debris burning or wildfire safety education, visit www.arkansasforestry.org or call the AFC at 501-296-1940.
Press Release Courtesy of:
Arkansas Forestry Commission
Public Information Officer, Firewise/USA