Louisiana under "Red Flag Warning"

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - With winter knocking on Southwest Louisiana's door Lake Charles Firefighters are about to enter their busy season.

"We are about to enter our cooler season and we are preparing for an increase in fires, which almost almost always are preventable," said Lake Charles Fire Chief Keith Murray.

Chief Murray said with the first cold snap in the forecast the start of this season could be busier than normal. A statewide "Red Flag Warning" has been issued because of the dry conditions. According to Murray even though it's not summer, the extreme dryness mixed with the cooler and windier weather is a recipe for disaster.

"If we had rain it would not be a problem but right now doing some of that out door burning stuff that may be social and feel good - is not a good time you could cause a catastrophe," said Murray.

We've seen examples of what happens when burns get out of control. Murray said with the real threat on the rise first responders are on high alert.

"At this time we have our trucks ready. We know the dangers and are on standby," said Murray. "We are not recommending with the dry conditions that people do any outdoor burning in something that is regulated like a patio burn pit to be very careful. The dry conditions we have going on you can easily set off dry stuff because embers travel great distances."

Chief Murray also said this is a good time to have your chimney or heater serviced by a professional before using for the first time. He also urges families to go over an exit plan should a fire occur at their home.

At this time a statewide burn ban remains in effect.

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