COVINGTON, La. (WGNO) — The wind isn’t just an issue for trick-or-treaters. It also raises the fire risk.
Current weather conditions are reinforcing the burn ban that went into effect in August, which, according to the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office, is the longest burn ban in state history.
In conjunction with the Fire Marshal’s Office, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning, which indicates critical fire weather conditions.
“Well, in fact, the cooler weather makes it worse because the humidity is lower in the air, which adds another element to the drought condition, in addition to the wind kicking up,” said Ashley Rodrigue, the public affairs director for the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office. “Those are the three things that lead the weather service to create what we call today a red flag warning.”
Rodrigue is reminding the public the statewide burn ban remains in effect.
“Now at this time, parishes can opt out if they feel like their particular area has seen changes in conditions that make their fire service a little more comfortable, but the reality is we have seen parishes get out of the burn ban and then get back in it,” Rodrigue said.
The back-and-forth tests the manpower of the municipal firefighters since their expertise doesn’t include wildfires.
“At the end of the day, it is a disappointment for these fire departments to not have a cooperative public,” Rodrigue explained. “They want to help, but they have to be able to help and not put themselves in danger as well.”
Rodrigue says her office would like to see an end to the burn ban just as much as the next person, but cooperation is key right now.
“If we can just be diligent and be considerate, that would be best for everyone,” Rodrigue said.
The red flag warning will remain in effect until Wednesday night.