WEST MONROE, La. (09/30/19)– The Ouachita Parish Police Jury was called into a special meeting to put a burn ban into place before October.
“We have experienced extremely dry conditions in this time of the year, we haven’t had any rain in quite some time and we don’t have any rainfall predicited,” Shane Smiley, Ouachita Parish Police Jury President, said.
A burn ban is exactly what it sounds like- no burning of any kind until the ban is lifted, including trash, leaves, limbs, branches, or debris.
“You also have to know that it is always illegal to burn within 100 ft of residential structures or commercial structures, but with a burn ban what’s different is all outdoor burning no matter where or how far it is from any structures is illegal,” Dusty Harris, Ouachita Fire Prevention Officer, said.
Officials say although it is the beginning of fall, most of the Ark-La-Miss is still experiencing summer-like temperatures. That’s why multiple parishes in the area are under a burn ban.
- Lincoln Parish
- Caldwell Parish
- Richland Parish
- West Carroll Parish
- LaSalle Parish
- Madison Parish
- Morehead Parish
- Union Parish
- Catahoula Parish
- Tensas Parish
- East Carroll Parish
- Franklin Parish
- Ouachita Parish
- Concordia Parish
“I think that we are continuing to experience some of the hottest and driest days that we have seen in a number of years for this time of year,” Smiley said.
Officials want the public to know that burning during a burn ban can be extremely dangerous to people, buildings, and land. Violating the ban is serious by fines starting at $500 or even up to 30 days behind bars.
“We look into the future forecast and how much our trucks are running, and this is a time for us to be proactive and prevent fires from getting out and getting bad,” Harris said.