- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Brisk winds and low humidity combined to create a high wildfire danger across Arkansas on Monday, but by the end of the day foresters said a 2,000-acre blaze near Hot Springs had been largely contained.

Strong winds swept much of Arkansas on Monday, with humidity below 40 percent, which makes grass, shrubs and trees more combustible than normal. The Arkansas Forestry Commission says the wildfire danger is forecast to continue through the week.

Burn bans are active in 50 Arkansas counties, and state foresters advise against any outdoor burning to reduce the wildfire threat.

Forty-eight wildfires burned over the weekend and threatened 21 homes that were close to the flames. Thirteen fires burned Monday.

The U.S. Forest Service said Monday a wildfire located near Lake Ouachita State Park was nearly contained. The agency said the fire has consumed about 2,000 acres since it started Friday.

Foresters say the fire should be 98 percent contained Tuesday, up from 90 percent Monday. They intend to monitor the area in case of flare-ups.

The fire is on the Little Blakely Trail System. All trails within the system are closed until further notice.

The cause of the fire was not known Monday afternoon.

The 50 counties covered by burn bans are Ashley, Baxter, Boone, Benton, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Cleburne, Cleveland, Conway, Crawford, Dallas, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Grant, Greene, Hot Spring, Howard, Independence, Izard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Logan, Lonoke, Madison, Marion, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Prairie, Polk, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell.

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