Beauregard Parish issues burn ban after debris fire burns 24 acres

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 2:39 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:15 PM CDT
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Beauregard Parish, La. (KPLC) - Beauregard Parish officials issued a parish-wide burn ban Wednesday afternoon after multiple fires got out of control due to extremely dry conditions.

“Be careful, whatever it is you have to burn or get rid of, it can wait a week or two, wait until we get some rain and then carry on,” said Beauregard Parish District 4 Fire Chief Eric Stracener.

Earlier Wednesday, a day after Beauregard Parish and state fire officials issued a burn warning, a homeowner just outside DeRidder had a debris fire that got out of control.

Firefighters were able to contain it after it burned 24 acres. The homeowner was cited.

Louisiana state fire marshal spokesperson Ashley Rodrigue said it takes just one second for things to go wrong.

“People set these fires and then they walk away. They go in their homes, they leave the property, you’ve got to stand by those burn piles all day long, and that’s the bigger issue is that these burn piles go for a long time, and not everyone dedicates the time to stick with it,” Rodrigue said.

Stracener said dry conditions and wind is a recipe for disaster.

“You couple dry vegetation. With a little bit of wind to propagate it, and you have a disaster waiting to happen when it comes to outdoor fires,” he said.

The best way to prevent a fire is to not have one at all, but once the ban is lifted, there are certain precautions that you can take.

“Make sure that that burn pile is about 75 feet from any structure, or in the event something does get out of control, you’ve got some space to try to contain it better, but also creating a five-foot wet control line around that area,” said Rodrigue.

The Beauregard Parish burn ban will stay in place until further notice.