LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Traffic was backed up for miles on I-430 in Little Rock Friday afternoon after a grass fire broke out on the side of the roadway.
According to Captain Jason Weaver with the Little Rock Fire Department, nearly 20 acres destroyed
At around 2 p.m., fire units arrived on scene at I-430 near Stagecoach Road to extinguish the flames.
The cause of the fire is believed to be a driver throwing cigarettes out the window.
With the dangerous dry weather conditions we’re having, “a small spark can start a fire and it spreads really rapid,” said Weaver.
As the fire burned on I-430, there were over 50 burn bans in the state
“It’s super hot. So, everything is drying out, there is not a lot of humidity, we’re not getting any rain, so everything is super dry.”
It took crews about 3 hours to put out the fire. An issue they faced was water supply, as there wasn’t a fire hydrant nearby. LRFD crews had to go back and forth to the fire department and then around the backed-up traffic to fill up their tanker.
Weaver says this issue “was a concern the whole time.”
As temperatures look to continue to blaze, Captain Weaver says to look out for anything dragging behind your vehicle like safety chains that can become extremely hot and start to spark.
Another important tip to keep in mind is to not park in tall grass after you’ve been driving.
“The exhaust gets extremely hot and as dry as the grass is, if it’s tall enough to get up to that catalytic converter it will light off.”
Also, fireworks have become an issue for LRFD. Captain Weaver says there have been over 30 instances where they’ve been call to grass fires associated with fireworks.