OFFICE OF LOUISIANA STATE FIRE MARSHAL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Deputy Chief Brant Thompson
Release #: Office: 225-925-4911
Date: January 21, 2014 Cell: 225-247-6251
Baton Rouge, LA– The State Fire Marshal’s Office stops short of a statewide burn ban, but urges all Louisiana citizens to exercise caution when setting outdoor fires. The dry conditions across the state, coupled with recent windy conditions have led to a significant number of fires burning out of control.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is recommending that citizens delay debris burning until the state has seen significant precipitation and even then, extra precaution should be taken during windy conditions. “Our state has experienced an excessive number of out of control brush fires directly related to the intentional burning of trash and debris,” said State Fire Marshal Butch Browning.
In addition to open-land damage, local fire officials have reported a number of structures damaged or destroyed in recent weeks as a result of small debris fires getting out of hand. Many of those structures contained valuable equipment which was also damaged or destroyed by fire.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds everyone that fire-raising on lands of another, be it through malice, or by criminal negligence, exposes those responsible to both civil and criminal penalties. Criminal laws concerning fire-raising on lands of another may be enforced by state or local law enforcement authorities.
Anyone with information about suspected arson in their community is urged to call the Fire Marshal’s toll-free Arson Hotline at 1-866-946-1097, or you may submit an anonymous web tip @ lasfm.org.