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Controlled burns prevent wildfires

Firefighters say without controlled burns here in Arkansas we could have major wildfires every year and with how dry the ground is despite major thunderstorms this week, you can imagine the potential for damage.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - In minutes, one lightning strike can turn into a massive forest fire.

"When you have a wildfire, it's not in control at all," said Burn Boss Bert Turner. "There's always things that can go wrong and we try to plan for it. We take our jobs very seriously out here."

On Tuesday, Turner monitored the 1700 acre Pinnacle Mountain State Park as fires burned away dried foliage on the ground - or as Turner calls it, "leaf litter."

"If this were to catch on fire from a wildfire, cigarette butt, lightning strike, something like that - it may take a little while to get it put out and being this close to the city it would not be a good thing," said Turner.

A calculated mixture of gasoline and diesel fuel makes the perfect potion for controlled destruction. Within hours, the park is charred - in a good way.

"This park is now much much safer come summer when you'll have lightning strikes," said Turner.

The fires will smolder throughout the night but there are crews watching them continuously just in case anything gets out of control.

A lot of factors go into a controlled burn - weather being the most important. It just rained so firefighters didn't get as much burn as they wanted but being that more rain is predicted for this week, it was now or never.
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