Burn Ban Continues

Posted: Aug 29, 2023, 3:32 PM

Mother Nature eased her drought-like grip on Bossier Parish and parts of northwest Louisiana with showers late Sunday and early Monday, but dry conditions remain and a burn ban continues in the parish and statewide.

Bossier Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Ian Snellgrove said rainfall amounts in areas of the parish varied as the brief storm system moved through.

Areas south of Cypress Lake along Interstate 20, south to LA Hwy.154, east to LA Hwy. 157 then along and south of LA Hwy. 527 received an estimated .75 of an inch of rain with pockets of isolated higher amounts of 1.5 inches. Areas to the south received an estimated up to 2.5 inches, Snellgrove reported.

AEP reports 289 customers without power from the storm Sunday night and early Monday morning. Weather Prediction Center quantitative precipitation forecasts for the next seven days show no rainfall expected.

Snellgrove said several fires are ongoing in the state and a strike team made up of Bossier Parish fire fighters remain on the ground assisting with fire areas in Beauregard Parish.

In Bossier Parish Fire District 4 (Benton area), Chief J.T. Wallace said his crews have responded to several calls of small grass fires, mostly along railroad tracks.

"We responded to four one day and six another along railroad tracks, but we were able to extinguish those quickly without any serious damage or threat," he said. "We've only had a couple of others that occurred when it was first initiated, but people were unaware a ban had been declared."

Overall, Wallace said, the public has been more compliant during the current burn ban than any in the past. Hopefully, that trend will continue, he said.

"People have been very cooperative and that's something we appreciate," he said. "The message we would send is if you have to wonder if it's safe to burn, don't do it. Even when outdoor grilling, be sure to check your cooking area and be very aware of where sparks might potentially land."

Snellgrove reminded residents of several rules to remember during extremely dry conditions including:

  • When pulling onto side of the road, stay off dry grassy areas.
  • Park vehicles so the motor and exhaust system does not come in contact with dry grass, leaves or weeds.
  • Do not discard cigarettes from moving vehicles. Do not discard cigarettes around buildings in the grass or flower beds during smoke breaks or before entering buildings; make sure they are put out completely.
  • Avoid power equipment that produces sparks.
  • Make sure no parts of vehicles or tow-chains drag the ground while moving. This produces sparks and hot metal debris that can cause dry materials along roads to ignite.
  • If you smell or see smoke in your area, do not ignore or assume others have reported it. Investigate and report to the local fire department or call 911 immediately. Fires grow and spread rapidly, especially during dry and windy conditions.