As temperatures rise, the Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commission is urging the public to use caution when burning debris caused by hurricanes and the recent ice storm.
“Every corner of the state has experienced its fair share of severe weather which resulted in massive amounts of downed trees and debris,” Commissioner Mike Strain said. “With the recent mild weather, a lot of citizens are out working to remove storm debris from property.”
Debris fires can quickly get out of hand.
Strain said, “Should you decide to burn debris, be sure to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent a debris fire from escaping and threatening life and property.”
The Commission has provided safety tips for debris burning:
- Always check your local city/parish ordinances and fire authorities to be sure outdoor burning is permissible.
- Check the weather forecast. Also, check your local fire danger rating. Postpone the burn on dry, windy days or if changes in weather are predicted.
- Before burning, establish a perimeter around the burn barrel or debris pile. The perimeter should be at least five feet wide around burn barrels, wider around brush piles and cleared of any flammable material down to bare soil.
- Don’t leave burn piles unattended. Monitor with the fire until it is completely extinguished.
- Keep water and hand tools like shovels, rakes on hand to extinguish any embers or sparks that escape the perimeter. Should the fire escape, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For fire danger ratings in Louisiana, go to https://www.ldaf.state.la.us/daily-fire-weather/
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