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Residents briefly evacuated from Arkansas town due to wildfire

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Residents are allowed to return to their homes
  • NEW: 500-acre blaze is 80 percent contained
  • It started Sunday morning in a forested area of Traskwood

(CNN) -- Residents of a small town in central Arkansas were briefly evacuated Sunday as a small wildfire threatened their community, according to the state forestry commission.

Residents were later allowed to return to their homes in Traskwood -- a community of about 500 people 35 miles southwest of Little Rock -- after firefighters had the 500-acre blaze 80 percent contained, a release from the Arkansas Forestry Commission said.

The fire began Sunday morning in a heavily forested area that surrounds the town, commission spokeswoman Christina Fowler said.

The state has been plagued with such fires since October 1, according to the forestry commission. Crews have suppressed more than 100 fires that have burned about 1,200 acres since the beginning of the month, the release said, and burn bans have been issued in 44 Arkansas counties.

Ten firefighting crews and two air tankers were involved in the efforts to contain the latest blaze, the forestry commission said.

CNN's Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.