NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans firefighters are now getting help from the rain to put out the wildfire in New Orleans East, but the rain also created a setback.
A spokesman for the New Orleans Fire Department says although the rain provides extra water to help put the fire out, it’s also made access to the fire more of a hurdle than it already was because crews must walk back and forth to refill the tanks on the pumps.
Ken’s Pharmacy is located near the corner of Chef Menteur Highway and Alcee Fortier Boulevard, about a mile away from the wildfire.
The pharmacy’s owner, Kinh Nguyen, says he noticed the effects of the wildfire about three weeks ago.
“I noticed when I drove to the business, there was smoke pluming from the direction where the news report was, the Bayou Sauvage,” Nguyen explained. “As I got nearer and nearer to the business, the fume got stronger and stronger.”
The business owner calls the wildfire a concern, especially for his customers.
“It’s quite strong, and I’m more concerned for people with respiratory disease since I’m in the medical field,” Nguyen said. “[Some of my customers] did have to go to the doctor to get more or different medicine.”
As of Monday, New Orleans firefighters had the gravel road leading to the fire blocked off.
The department spokesman says about 80% of the wildfire burning underground is contained.
Nguyen says conditions have improved, and he is grateful for the rain.
“About three days ago, we did notice a slight reduction in the smoke itself, but yesterday and today, we pray and hope that the rain smothers it out,” Nguyen said.
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