NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans firefighters are still trying to put out the wildfire in New Orleans East, but now there are questions about who’s paying for it.

During her weekly news briefing, Mayor LaToya Cantrell commended the New Orleans Fire Department and assisting agencies for their efforts.

“[They’re] working diligently and in a very timely manner,” Cantrell said. “I just wanted to echo the responses that the agencies are just providing on the ground.”

The fire burning underground is surrounded by two pipelines, three canals and a railroad track on private property between Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge and the Michoud Canal.

“While this is on private property, it does make it very difficult for the federal government to engage, but I also said this is where we will look to see what this really means,” Cantrell said.

It may mean federal resources cannot be tapped, emphasizing the importance of funding for the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP).

“That’s why I have to say, when we talk about that 20% of our fund balance being for emergencies and us being able to respond as a city, that’s why it becomes so critical because you never know,” Cantrell said. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s when.”

As budget hearings continue, NOHSEP’s budget will be discussed Friday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in council chambers inside New Orleans City Hall.

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