Cenla parishes proceed with updated statewide burn ban
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM), The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (GOHSEP) and the National Weather Service have met for several weeks to assess the current state of wildfire dangers in Louisiana and how to move forward with burn bans. An updated burn ban that went into effect on September 29 now allows each parish the ability to opt out of the statewide burn ban if they choose to.
For Rapides, Grant and Vernon parishes, the burn ban will stay in effect with NO exemptions to the statewide burn ban. The Rapides Parish Police Jury will need to make a resolution to change that motion IF the police jury deems it necessary. The Grant Parish Police Jury is planning to meet on October 12 to discuss the possible changes, but as of now, no changes have been made.
Things are a little different in Avoyelles Parish. While all burning is prohibited, the Avoyelles Parish Police Jury is allowing outdoor and open fires for cooking, but they MUST be approved by the fire chief in your jurisdiction before the fire is ignited.
Joey Frank, director of the Avoyelles Office of Emergency Preparedness, said the decision was due to future outdoor events that require fire of some sort, but it is not that much different than the current statewide ban.
“This is the way it was prior to the statewide burn ban,” said Frank. “When there is a burn ban, the fire chief can overrule and give permission to issue a fire, to make an open fire. So we just basically did it like that. But I just felt it wasn’t better enough to continue with lifting the parish-wide burn ban.”
Frank said if there are changes in the future to the ban, Avoyelles will follow the state in their ruling.
As a reminder, open flames in fire pits, campfires and other outdoor settings are prohibited where the statewide burn ban remains in effect. Outdoor cooking should be conducted with safety measures, using contained equipment like grills and smokers on a flame-resistant surface with a water source or fire extinguisher nearby. Activities near dried grass should be avoided to prevent spark-related fires.
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