Burn Ban in Louisiana Modified, Some Directives Revised

By Seraphina Frost
Published September 28, 2023

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Louisiana – After discussions involving the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM), Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (GOHSEP) and the National Weather Service (NWS), the statewide burn ban initially re-issued on August 25th has been revised to instate specific exceptions.

The existing prohibition on all private burning, which has been in effect since 12 p.m. on August 25, 2023, under the authority of R.S. 40:1602, is undergoing the following changes:

  • Allows for individual parishes to choose not to participate in the statewide ban on burning
  • Gives authority to fire chiefs to begin issuing burn permits again
  • Permits certain live fire exercises to restart, given they have written approval from the State Fire Marshal.

The revised directive comes into force on Friday, September 29, 2023, at 5 p.m. This change coincides with updates to an independent burn ban issued by LDAF, barring all agricultural burning, including prescribed burning to name one. The modification of this ban, announced by LDAF Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain, allows for the resumption of agricultural burning, with the exception of standing sugar cane.

More specifics about this altered burn ban will be forthcoming from LDAF.

Just a reminder, in areas where the statewide fire restriction is still active, the use of open fires in fire pits, campfires, barrels, bonfires, and similar open burning methods is forbidden. Moreover, when cooking outdoors, it is advised to follow safety procedures. This includes using specific equipment like grills and smokers that are meant for cooking only and making sure they are placed on a flame-resistant surface with a water source or fire extinguisher nearby.

It is also still recommended to steer clear of participating in activities on or adjacent to dry grass that has the potential to spark a fire from actions such as smoking, mowing, or any other yard work, as these can initiate a fire that can rapidly spread.

The SFM stated that the condition of this burn ban order will be re-evaluated every week.