Drought-like conditions, firefighters on alert for grass fires - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Drought-like conditions, firefighters on alert for grass fires

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Many of us are already seeing patches of brown grass in our yards and its part of the drought-like conditions we've been experiencing here in Southwest Louisiana.

For firefighters, it means they're keeping a watchful eye on grass fires.

"We haven't seen a whole lot at the beginning of the season so far, but it is slowly picking up," said Daniel Duhon, Carlyss Fire Department Captain.

Every year firefighters tackle thousands of wildfires across the country. In Carlyss, firefighters say they start to keep an eye out for grass fires as the weather gets warmer.

And while firefighters here say they haven't seen an increase in grass fires yet, they are on high alert.

"The dry weather poses a challenge due to it dries out the grass a lot quicker, combined with the high winds it will cause the fire to spread a lot quicker," added Duhon.

While no parish in Louisiana is under a burn ban, Lake Charles Fire Prevention Chief Wayne Rigmaiden says that could change.

"But they can occur when we run through some droughts," said Rigmaiden.

The last time Lake Charles has seen at least an inch of rain was in February.

Today, we're nearly 9 inches below normal rainfall for the year.

"If the dry weather persists, if we don't get any more rain here in the future, it could happen," said Duhon.

But even before a burn ban is issued, firefighters make sure they're prepared.

Here at Carlyss, they even have what they call a 'brush buggy', which helps them get to grass fires.

"We are limited to where we can go with the bigger trucks so this helps us," said Carlyss Fire Chief James Stanley.

While they only use it about a half dozen times a year, it's important to have in areas like Carlyss.

"A large area that we cover is open fields and grassy areas, we tend to run a lot more grass fires and brush fires versus a structure fire," said Stanley.

But even though preparation is key firefighters say grass fire prevention is the best way to go.

Fire officials had a number of grass fire prevention tips from not throwing cigarette butts outside, to making sure fire pit and BBQ coals are cool before discarding.

Additional grass fire prevention tips here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/kisatchie/home/?cid=fsbdev3_024701

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Clean-up efforts under way in Oakdale

    Clean-up efforts under way in Oakdale

    Thursday, March 30 2017 2:08 PM EDT2017-03-30 18:08:53 GMT
    (Source: KPLC viewer)(Source: KPLC viewer)

    Clean-up efforts are underway after storms rolled through Southwest Louisiana Wednesday night. Most of the damage was done in Oakdale, where a possible tornado partially tore the roof off a motel and a gas station overhang. Click HERE for more. No injuries were reported. A lot of the damage was around the Old Pelican Highway, where trees and power lines were down. The National Weather Storm is expected to visit Oakdale this afternoon to determine whether the damage is from a torna...

    More >>

    Clean-up efforts are underway after storms rolled through Southwest Louisiana Wednesday night. Most of the damage was done in Oakdale, where a possible tornado partially tore the roof off a motel and a gas station overhang. Click HERE for more. No injuries were reported. A lot of the damage was around the Old Pelican Highway, where trees and power lines were down. The National Weather Storm is expected to visit Oakdale this afternoon to determine whether the damage is from a torna...

    More >>
  • Coming up at 6:30 p.m.: Business and Industry Quarterly Report

    Coming up at 6:30 p.m.: Business and Industry Quarterly Report

    Thursday, March 30 2017 1:57 PM EDT2017-03-30 17:57:57 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    We'll be discussing Southwest Louisiana's economy at 6:30 p.m. during a half-hour Business and Industry Quarterly Report. The report will air on 7News KPLC-TV and online at www.kplctv.com and on our 7News mobile app. Tonight's show will include an economist's predictions for the area, industry jobs, casino tourism and expansion, and the housing and rental market. Mobile users, click HERE to watch the show. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. More >>
    We'll be discussing Southwest Louisiana's economy at 6:30 p.m. during a half-hour Business and Industry Quarterly Report. The report will air on 7News KPLC-TV and online at www.kplctv.com and on our 7News mobile app. Tonight's show will include an economist's predictions for the area, industry jobs, casino tourism and expansion, and the housing and rental market. Mobile users, click HERE to watch the show. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved. More >>
  • Online Editorial: Why does KPLC interrupt programming for weather coverage?

    Online Editorial: Why does KPLC interrupt programming for weather coverage?

    Thursday, March 30 2017 1:46 PM EDT2017-03-30 17:46:42 GMT
    Jenelle ShrinerJenelle Shriner
    It’s the morning after a pretty intense storm blew through southwest Louisiana, and I just finished responding to a viewer upset that we cut into NBC programming last night for as long as we did.  It’s not the first time I’ve answered this question, or responded to a complaint.  And I’m happy to do so because I want to hear from you.  At 8:03 p.m. during Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on KPLC, and during Empire on KVHP, Chief Meteorologi...More >>
    It’s the morning after a pretty intense storm blew through southwest Louisiana, and I just finished responding to a viewer upset that we cut into NBC programming last night for as long as we did.  It’s not the first time I’ve answered this question, or responded to a complaint.  And I’m happy to do so because I want to hear from you.  At 8:03 p.m. during Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on KPLC, and during Empire on KVHP, Chief Meteorologi...More >>
Powered by Frankly