Louisiana state fire marshal’s deputies investigate Webster Parish man’s death

They believe it’s related to the 67-year-old open burning on his property
Louisiana state fire marshal's deputies investigated the death of a Webster Parish man Monday,...
Louisiana state fire marshal's deputies investigated the death of a Webster Parish man Monday, Sept. 26 and believe it is related to the 67-year-old Heflin resident open burning on his property, the state fire marshal's office reports. His death is the fifth this year in Louisiana attributed to open burning accidents.(Source: Louisiana state fire marshal's office)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT

KSLA — Louisiana state fire marshal’s deputies investigated the death of a Webster Parish man Monday, Sept. 26 and believe it is related to the 67-year-old Heflin resident open burning on his property.

His death is the fifth this year in Louisiana attributed to open burning accidents, according to the fire marshal’s office.

“This is an unprecedented statistic for our state, and it should be alarming to everyone,” State Fire Marshal Dan Wallis said in a news release.

Open burning is defined as a private property owner setting fire to any trees, branches, grass, leaves, brush or debris for non-commercial purposes.

“These tragedies are preventable and the prevention effort starts with avoiding open burning altogether when weather conditions like dry grass, dry air and high winds come together like they will this week,” Wallis said.

Open burning safety tips include:

  • Ensuring weather conditions, including wind speed and direction, are safe for burning
  • Establishing a burn pile at least 75 feet from any structures
  • Creating a 5-foot wet control line around the area
  • Avoiding the use of flammable liquids to ignite a burn pile
  • Remaining vigilant over the fire with a water source nearby at all times
  • Alerting a loved one or neighbor to your activities or conducting them with help
  • Calling 911 if the fire gets out of control.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Wallis called upon all Louisiana residents to be aware of the high fire danger across the state this week.

His plea came after the National Weather Service Office in New Orleans issued a red flag warning for that day for southeast Louisiana indicating dangerous wildfire conditions exist where fire can become uncontrolled quickly.

The alert for southeast Louisiana was “... the result of a lack of rain, the drop in humidity that occurred overnight and the expectation of increased winds due to the presence of Hurricane Ian in the Gulf,” Wallis said.

“Even though this warning is for a certain portion of the state, we are asking all residents to please avoid any open burning this week, just as a precaution, for your safety and the safety of those who live around you.”