Lower Buffalo Wilderness Fire Update

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Date: January 19, 2015
Contact: Caven Clark, 870-365-2790

The wildfire that was discovered by Buffalo National River Law Enforcement staffon Sundayis in its second day. With no change in humidity and winds continuing through the night the fire has increased to involve four separate areas, all within the same area of the Lower Buffalo Wilderness. The current (10:30 am) estimate of the areas involved is 185-200 acres.

The primary containment line was established across the narrow neck of land at the base of the "duckhead", which was back-burned last night to prevent any spread of the fire to the south. Today's strategy is to strengthen the containment line and burn out areas of fuel between the separate fires. Most of the fuel involved consists of the very dry leaf litter, but some larger fuels remaining from the 2009 ice storm are contributing as well. There are no historic structures or other property at risk from this fire which is traversing very rugged and remote terrain. 

Fire weather today remains essentially the same but with diminished winds. In addition to the twelve NPS firefighters on scene last night, the United States Forest Service has sent an additional four to assist. In addition to the Lower Buffalo Wilderness fire, NPS crews are currently assisting state agencies with two fires near the park boundary.

The closure remains in effect: This closure means that no unauthorized persons may legally enter the area indicated on the map. The river remains open but visitors should use the river-left bank (north side) for any camping or other activities. No threats are anticipated, but it could be very smoky at times.

 To find out if the closure has been lifted, please call the Tyler Bend Visitor Center at 870/439-2502. All fires, accidents, and unsafe conditions can be reported to Buffalo National River Dispatch at 888/692-1162. This most welcome break in winter cold will create increasingly high fire potential so please exercise extreme care while enjoying your national park.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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