Weekend Rains Douse 8,000-Acre Wildfire in Ouachita Forest

MARCH 20, 2006 - Posted at 7:46 a.m. CST

HOT SPRINGS, AR - Rain this weekend took care of a wildfire that charred more than 8,000 acres in the Ouachita National Forest in western Arkansas.

Forest Service fire team leader Jim Burton says crews will survey the fire site to put out any remaining hot spots.

Burton says 75 firefighters battled the blaze at its height.  Forty of those firefighters were from out-of-state, 20 from Washington state and 20 from Oklahoma.  Those crews have been sent home.

Forest Service spokesman Debbie Ugbade says the fire was started by lightning on March 12.  It had burned about 800 acres by Thursday in an area west of Black Springs in Montgomery County, but then spread rapidly on Friday.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)