The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Burning Debris Outside Discouraged
By Charles Huggins
THE MORNING NEWS
Many residents planning to get out in this weekend's spring-like weather and burn tree limbs and debris from last week's ice storm will have to wait.
Fire officials in both Washington and Benton counties warn against outside burning because of strong wind and freeze-dried grass.
The Fayetteville Fire Department suspended all burning permits Friday because several grass and brush fires have consumed acres of land throughout the week, Battalion Chief Terry Lawson said.
Benton County Fire Marshall Will Hanna issued a red flag warning Friday. Fire officials strongly discourage burning under a red flag but no fines can be imposed until a burn ban is ordered by a county judge.
Rural fire departments in Washington County have fought numerous grass fires this week, some sparked from residential fires but others caused by controlled burns gone awry, said Assistant Fire Marshal Laurie Roy.
"We just ask residents to use discretion. It just takes a minute away from a fire before it can spread," Roy said, adding no red flag alert for Washington County has been issued but it will be re-evaluated today.
For those who do decide to burn, contact local fire departments or county officials to let them know of a controlled burn. That way, firefighters and emergency dispatchers can be aware of attended burns and won't have to lose response time by sending out a crew to investigate, Springdale Fire Chief Duane Atha said.
Warm weather and nearly two inches of precipitation from last week's storm have left misleading conditions for those wanting to burn outside.
"It's deceptive," Atha said. "A lot of folks burning out there now aren't used to it. We understand people want to start cleaning up, but not at the risk of causing more damage. On a day like today with the wind picking up, the dry grass and leaves will burn readily and rapidly."
Fires should always be started at least 50 feet away from any structure or adjoining property, and should always be attended with a garden hose nearby. Hot embers left in ash piles should be doused with water, Atha said.
Gasoline should never be used to start a controlled burn because the vapors are flammable as well, Atha said.
Controlled Burn Contacts
All controlled burns should be reported to local fire departments and county officials.
• Fayetteville -- Fire department 442-6131
• Springdale -- Fire department 750-8191
• Rogers -- Police dispatch 636-4141
• Bentonville -- City ordinance prohibits burning
• Washington County -- Local fire departments on weekends and fire marshall's office during the weekday 444-1723
• Benton County -- CENCOM dispatch 273-5532, option 7
Source: Staff Report
Ozarks Electric Cooperative
• In Arkansas: 4,200
Carroll Electric Cooperative
• Carroll County: 800
• Madison County: 300
• Benton County: 50
Source: Staff Report
Tree & Brush Debris
These cities have plans to handle vegetation debris from last week's ice storm.
Drop off at 1874 Stokenbury Road
Cut limbs in 4-foot lengths and place on the curb in piles about 4-feet high. Do not place the piles on streets, on top of gas or water meters, block fire hydrants or against retaining walls. A machine will be used to collect the debris. Collection will begin this week. Any resident with questions or who wants to report a blocked street, call the Fayetteville Transportation Division, 575-8228
Tree and brush debris can be taken from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the following dump sites:
• City of Fayetteville Water and Sewer Operations Center -- 2430 Industrial Drive
• Noland Wastewater Treatment Plant -- 1400 N. Fox Hunter Road
• Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant -- 5 S. 54th Ave.
For more storm information go to the city's Web site, http://www.accessfayetteville.org
Residents should place debris at curbside. City officials have contracted a firm with a wood chipper.
Limbs should be cut to 6 feet or less. City crews will begin cleaning Main Street today, then Wilkerson Street and then subdivisions. Residents can haul limbs to a drop-off point at the corner of Main Street and Hewitt, east of the railroad tracks.
Drop off on Rheas Community Road, Washington County Road No. 68. Look for site north of the lake.
Place debris at curb out of right of way or drop off at Prairie Grove Wastewater Treatment Facility
The Springdale mayor's office is asking residents to place limbs of any manageable size next to the street. The city is waiving requirements on size for tree and shrub debris from the ice storm. The city street department will pick up the limbs eventually, but there is no schedule yet. Springdale residents only can take limbs and tree debris to the end of McCullough Drive, south of Emma Avenue on the east side of town.
Limbs and brush must be placed next to the roadway in right of way easement. Limbs must be stacked parallel to the roadway. Limbs must be 6 feet or less in length and 6 inches or less in diameter. Stacks should not block fire hydrants or other emergency access. Collection times to be announced.
The city is hiring contractors with bucket trucks to get the high limbs. City crews will pick up debris curbside inside the city. Residents outside the city can take debris to the site south of West Fork, near the Woolsey Church.
Drop off at Old City Park on Main Street, city residential only.
Washington County residents
Drop off at the Fayetteville and Elkins sites.
-- The Morning News
At A Glance
The following arrangements have been made for limb removal:
• Bentonville: The city will pick up limbs starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Debris must be placed 4 to 10 feet from the back of the curb or edge of pavement. No stumps. Limbs can't exceed 6 feet in length and 14 inches in diameter.
• Benton County: Disposal sites are at 17900 Dennis Mitchell Road, Garfield; 9900 Marchant Road (Marchant Hills Arena), Elm Springs; 13281 Frisco Cemetery Road, Rogers; and 19938 Bettis Hills Road, near War Eagle; just West of 21447 Waukesha Road near Siloam Springs; 13998 E. Arkansas 12, Prairie Creek. Debris sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Contracted crews will be making curbside pickups starting Monday. Residents may call 271-1083 for information about when and in which areas Benton County crews will pick up storm debris during the next few weeks.
• Centerton: Residents can pile limbs on the edge of the curb. Limbs must be shorter than 5 feet.
• Decatur: A disposal site will be announced. Residents may call 752-3912.
• Gentry: Residents must have debris curbside by Feb. 16, away from all utilities. Branches must be less than 6 inches in diameter.
• Little Flock: The city will not provide debris removal.
• Lowell: There is a disposal site on a city-owned lot on South Lincoln Street near Commercial Avenue.
• Pea Ridge: The city will perform curbside pickup. Branches should be no longer than 6 feet and no larger than 14 inches in diameter.
• Rogers: Residents should put vegetative debris by the curb. There is no limit on length or size, but a manageable size is preferred. A contracted company is expected to begin debris removal should begin on Monday in certain parts of the city.
• Siloam Springs: Disposal site is between the transfer station and animal services building on Ashley Street. Call the Sanitation Department at 524-8512 for details.
Source: Staff Report
State Storm Call Center
The state announced a call center for residents affected by the ice storm to provide and receive information. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management is interested in people with home damage from the storm; accessibility to homes affected by fallen trees and limbs; and frozen water pipes that have burst and left a residence flooded.
The number is 1-888-683-2336.
Source: Arkansas Department of Emergency Management