The area of Arkansas experiencing exceptional drought conditions has tripled from a week ago to nearly 11 percent of the state.
New U.S. Drought Monitor figures released July 19 show the driest part of the state includes all of Conway and Perry counties and most of Pope County. Parts of 11 other counties in central and west Arkansas are included in the exceptional drought area.
Rain last week enabled the Arkansas Forestry Commission to lower the statewide fire risk from extreme to severe, but officials say they expect to elevate the fire risk again soon if no more rain falls.
The National Weather Service says that with the return of the heat wave and low humidity, the recent effect of the recent rainfall won’t be around for long.