Louisiana Burn Ban Finally Lifted
Louisiana experienced an extremely hot, dry summer that caused the State Fire Marshal's Office to enact a state-wide burn ban on August 7th. Spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue said after conversations with the National Weather Service, local fire departments, and the Fire Service, the decision was made to remove the ban.
“After seeing the rainfall totals from this past rain and knowing that there’s going to be another system coming through tomorrow, we were advised that if we wanted to go ahead and lift the burn ban, we could from a safety perspective,” said Rodrigue.
You might not have even been aware that the burn ban was still in place. At the end of September, the burn ban was altered to allow parishes to make local decisions on the ban. Also, because there is an El Nino pattern predicted for this winter that's expected include above-average rainfall, played into the decision to lift the ban.
Much of the State Still Dry
The heat and extreme temperatures may be over, but much of the state is still experiencing dry conditions. Rodrigue said the weather service advised them that the primary perfect storm elements that led to an unusually high outbreak of wildfires have dissipated.
“As well as literally the kind of air that we were experiencing that was just making fire act differently. That is now in its lowest of low statuses that it can be,” said Rodrigue.
Even though the ban is lifted, residents are still encouraged to remain vigilant when conducting outdoor burns. Rodrigue said to never leave what you are burning unattended, have a water source readily available, create a water ring around your burn…
“And really making sure that someone knows where you are and what you are doing. We have had some unfortunate situations this year and last year, of individuals who were just doing their normal conducting of open burning and something went wrong,” said Rodrigue.
Louisiana residents should also know what you can and cannot burn. For example, vegetation, leaves, branches, and grass clippings are allowed. Plastic, tires, paint, chemicals, newspaper, and cardboard are not permitted.
A Last, Sad Look into Shreveport's Fairgrounds Field
Gallery Credit: Mike Martindale