Officials Warn and Raise Level – Very High Fire Danger
Benton and Franklin fire officials have raised the fire threat level to it's second highest level. They raised the level from high to very high because of the high temperatures and short cooling time at night according to sources. They warn that fires start easier in these conditions, they will spread faster, and be harder to fight. The warning puts a ban on all recreation fires that are not in an enclosed metal fire ring. All outdoor gas and charcoal grills used for cooking are also banned in all wildlife refuges.
Officials worry that the wet winter and spring caused lots of vegetation growth that will now provide lots of fuel for fires when it dries. They want to urge everyone to be careful during the holiday weekend.