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Fire marshal urges caution as dry weather and high winds raise risk

1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, February 27 2024 Feb 27, 2024 February 27, 2024 1:53 PM February 27, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana's wildfire threat is nowhere close to what it was last summer, but state fire officials are urging that people take care in the coming days.

High winds and dry conditions have contributed to an increase in brush fires, with several becoming large and dangerous, the state fire marshal said Tuesday. His office asked that people not burn fires outdoors this week, if possible.

“Even though the current conditions are nowhere close to what the state experienced last summer, we need everyone to understand the ingredients for dangerous fires are in place right now,” Fire Marshal Bryan Adams said. “These fires are resulting from small outdoor burn piles getting quickly out of control. They are proving to be challenging for firefighters and have destroyed properties.”

WBRZ Meteorologist Malcolm Byron said the primary concern is the wind. Winds have been running around 20 mph since Monday, and gusting to as high as 35 mph. Blustery conditions are expected at least into Thursday night.

If burning must occur, the fire marshal offers these tips:

  • Take weather conditions into consideration, including wind speed and direction
  • Make sure open burning is legal where you are
  • Ensure the burn area is at least 75 feet from buildings.
  • Use a wet control line 5 feet from the area.
  • Don't use flammable liquids to light a fire
  • Stay nearby, and have a water source standing by
  • Don't burn things alone, let a loved one or a neighbor know
  • Call 911 if the fire gets out of control.

Last summer, wildfires charred more than 60,000 acres across Louisiana. The largest blaze, the Tiger Island Fire, accounted for about half the acreage lost.

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