HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (ONFS) - Ouachita National Forest Service officials are advising Jessieville and Hot Springs Village residents to exercise caution today as smoke is expected in the area from the 200 acre wildfire northwest of Lake Ouachita State Park.
Residents sensitive to smoke are advised to remain indoors and keep windows closed to minimize exposure.
The fire was being managed with less than full suppression tactics, which allows wildfires to burn to existing barriers such as roads or creeks, resulting in less damage to natural resources.
However, with anticipated changes in wind patterns over the next few days, officials decided to contain the wildfire using trails, roads, lake shore and natural barriers to conduct a large burnout operation. Smoke from this burnout operation is expected to move to the northeast and will affect areas including Jessieville and Hot Springs Village.
"The change in wind patterns over the next few days would cause smoke from the fire to blanket a much larger area if we waited," said Megan Moynihan, Jessieville-Winona-Fourche District Ranger.
The fire, which began Jan. 24, is located in a remote area on the Little Blakely Trail System.
All trails within the system are closed until further notice.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
(Source: Ouachita National Forest Service)