GREEN FOREST, Ark. – A Tyson official confirmed a Jan. 11 fire at its recently opened poultry-processing plant in Green Forest triggered an evacuation of the facility and halted operations. According to Worth Sparkman, Tyson spokesman, the fire occurred and was contained to only the plant’s maintenance area and the cause is being investigated.

“We appreciate the quick response of local firefighters who assisted our team. We hope to resume normal operations soon,” Sparkman said.

The company completed construction of the 200,000-sq.-ft., $136-million plant this past year. It is located across the street and is attached by a corridor to an older Tyson plant that the company has operated since approximately 1967. About 1,250 workers are employed at the older plant and approximately 90 work at the newer processing facility where the fire occurred. 

When plans were announced for the construction of the newer plant, the Green Forest operations included production of partially cooked chicken for foodservice and retail customers. The new facility was to include additional production lines and equipment to increase capacity and efficiency by eliminating the need to ship products to other locations for further processing.