JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WGNO) — The marsh fire in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve remains active, and firefighters are now using special tools to try to contain it.
The fire was first reported on Wednesday, Oct. 18, and since then, it’s burned nearly 150 acres of marshland.
Officials with Jefferson Parish Fire Services and the National Park Service reported that their firefighters have extinguished 52% of the fire.
“The top fire is pretty much out, and that’s where we come up with the containment number, and now they are fighting the underground fires,” Jefferson Parish Fire Services Director Don Robertson explained.
The National Park Service is deploying its drones, which use technology to identify the hot spots, which will then be targeted with water drawn from nearby canals.
Robertson said, “And we are calling it.” National Park Service’s public information officer for the fire Meredith D. Hardy added, “Tactical saturation. And we aim for those places with the water.”
A levee separates the underground fires from the Town of Jean Lafitte where measures are in place in case the smoke contributes to dense fog, but officials say so far, there hasn’t been any super fog.
“There have been some delayed school openings and stopped traffic on the routes to make sure no one drives off into a ditch or that there’s an accident,” Hardy said. “There has been some inconvenience with the smell of smoke, especially in the few areas where it’s a little bit stronger here in the town.”
About 40 firefighters are on the job, but officials say it’s difficult to predict when the fire will be completely extinguished.
“I would love to tell you that we have a timeline on that, but it takes, because of the ground, it’s not like walking on a levee like we are,” Robertson said. “Those guys are working really hard in there to get this accomplished.”
None of the firefighters have been injured, and there have been no reports of wildlife fatalities.
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