NewsCovering Louisiana


Statewide burn ban takes effect on Tuesday

Begins at 8:00 am
burned grass.PNG
Posted at 6:20 AM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 07:20:58-05

A cease and desist order is in place, banning private burning temporarily in the state.

That order is to help prevent field fires caused by dry weather conditions. In Acadiana, firefighters in Henderson, Lafayette Parish, and Mire have responded to several reports of these types of fires.

The burn ban begins at 8:00 am on Tuesday, February 15 until further notice.

"You can drive around and see in the open fields everything is in dry conditions, it's not green grass, it's brown and dry," said Lafayette Fire Department spokesperson, Alton Trahan. "So anytime you think you have a small backyard fire or think it is small. It can spread especially if it's windy. And that's what we've been seeing."

Trahan says Lafayette Parish has seen 26 grass fires during February.

56 have been reported since the start of the year.

"It's taxing to firefighters to go out and put these fires out and then of course we have to worry about structures and there are resources being put out plus potential dangers of it causing harm to someone's property but to your home as well," he said.

Parishes across the state have asked the State Fire Marshals Office to do something about the overwhelming fire rate.

Spokesperson of the Fire Marshals Office, Ashley Rodrigue said the burn ban should be taken seriously until dry conditions cease.

"We have had this concept recently in the past four years, the statewide mandate relative to dry conditions. But the statewide mandate relative to dry conditions has not happened within the past four years," she said.

The ban is in place until further notice, but Rodrigue said that it could continue until about Thursday, February 24, when rain is expected in the forecast.

"We'll see how the weather looks when that rolls through and how the fire service feels after that but it's definitely a day-by-day situation," said Rodrigue.

The SFM said Louisiana residents are allowed to use personal fire pits for very short periods and are advised to monitor them at all times to prevent any flames from spreading.

The ban will not apply to prescribed burns by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, by those trained and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, or by those who conduct prescribed burning as a “generally accepted agriculture practice” as defined by the Louisiana Right to Farm Law, the SFM said.

Violations of the order could result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

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