South Bossier fire district bans burning in part of Lake Bistineau lakebed

Ban comes in response to fire that recently ignited in bed of lake that falls within Bossier, Bienville and Webster parishes
Fire smolders in the lakebed at Lake Bistineau in October 2014.
Fire smolders in the lakebed at Lake Bistineau in October 2014.(Source: KSLA News 12 file photo)
Published: Dec. 25, 2021 at 5:33 PM CST
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LAKE BISTINEAU, La. (KSLA) — South Bossier Fire District 2 has banned burning in the portion of the Lake Bistineau lakebed that’s within its service area.

The ban issued Saturday, Dec. 25 comes in response to a fire that recently ignited in the bed of the lake that falls within Bossier, Bienville and Webster parishes.

It prohibits outdoor burning including campfires, trash fires and any other open burning.

Bossier and Webster parishes are experiencing abnormally dry conditions and Bossier is in a moderate drought, according to the Fire, Weather and Avalanche Center.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry says the fire danger in the area of the lakebed fire is medium. That means fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of starts is generally low. It also means that fires burn at moderate intensities, and that heavy concentrations of fuel will burn hot.

This is at least the third time the lakebed has caught fire in the past 11 years.

In 2010, a fire in Webster Parish that began about Labor Day burned for at least a month. A fire on the northern end of the lake began in the Horseshoe Bend area and, because of high winds and dry conditions, rapidly spread to the southwest to the Westwood Camp area.

And in 2014, a campfire is believed to have sparked a fire that burned on Lake Bistineau.

There’s a danger inherent with lakebed fires. The debris, compost and moss in the lakebed make it favorable for fires to spread underground in the form of tunnel fires even though it may not be burning up on the surface.

So when such fires occur, residents often are advised to pay attention to their surroundings and to closely watch and monitor the situation as it develops.

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