Droughts causing concerns for more grass fires amid firework season
PRAIRIEVILLE - A lack of rain and days-long heat advisories are leaving some questioning if they will be able to shoot off fireworks or not.
"Still pretty green, but you're starting to see browning in areas, especially when you get close to roadways," Prairieville Fire Chief Mark Stewart said.
The grass may look normal, but Chief Stewart says looks can be deceiving.
"We really haven't had any measurable amount of rain, and with this heat and sun, it tends to dry out quickly," Stewart said.
Dry grass can lead to quickly-spreading fires.
"We get the usual, somebody burning some trash, stuff around the house, they lose focus, then it starts to get a little out of control, starts to spread, then we get called out. We haven't had a rash of them, but it can happen at any time," Stewart said.
With the Fourth of July just a week away, concern is growing quicker than the grass.
The fire chief says they will be prepared.
"We're more diligent and we're prepared for that call when it comes in related to fireworks," Stewart said.
Fireworks are legal in Prairieville, but the fire chief says that you should keep an eye on the sky and the ground if you plan to light them up. The dry conditions are prime for problems with anything that involves an open flame.
"Balconies and patios are other places you don't really notice if a firework went underneath it, and generally people always have something flammable on a patio or under a carport," Stewart said.
There are no burn bans in place at this time, but some places do not allow fireworks:
- East Baton Rouge Parish: Illegal everywhere, including the cities of Baker, Central, and Zachary.
- West Baton Rouge Parish: Legal in the unincorporated areas of the parish and in the town of Addis; prohibited in Brusly and Port Allen.
- Ascension: Legal in the unincorporated areas of the parish; prohibited in Donaldsonville and Gonzales.
- Livingston: Legal in the unincorporated areas of the parish; prohibited in Denham Springs and Walker.