Burn bans remain in effect
Parts of the ArkLaTex received no rainfall, while others got almost 1.5″ overnight
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Parts of the ArkLaTex received no rainfall, while others got almost 1.5″ overnight.
Officially, 0.57 of an inch was recorded at the National Weather Service office in Shreveport and 1.44″ (the maximum for the region) fell in Longview, Texas, KSLA First Alert Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle said.
That’s certainly not enough to impact the ongoing drought, authorities say.
But it’s also not enough to warrant lifting burn bans, they add.
There are burn bans in effect at the county level in parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. And Louisiana has a statewide burn ban.
Even mowing your grass still is discouraged lest a spark from a mower start a grass fire.
KSLA News 12 sought clarity on the question of outdoor grilling in Louisiana.
The Louisiana state fire marshal’s office posted the following Monday morning on Facebook:
It was preceded by this on Sunday morning (Aug. 27):
And on Wednesday (Aug. 23), Louisiana State Parks posted the following:
“So what we’re saying is ‘Don’t burn anything. If it involves a flame, don’t do it. If you have to ask, don’t do it’,” Ashley Rodrigue, spokeswoman for the state fire marshal’s office, told KSLA News 12 on Monday.
Despite seeing rain for the first time in 41 days, Louisiana remains in drought conditions and under a governor-ordered statewide burn ban.
“The burn ban is in place with no exceptions. That means no open flames, period!”
Senior meteorologist Matt Hemingway, of the National Weather Service office in Shreveport, confirmed that Sunday night’s rain was insufficient to eliminate the drought.
“So the little bit of rainfall that we had last night doesn’t really do a lot to help alleviate those drought conditions just because we didn’t see much rain. And, unfortunately, we do have temperatures warming back up with not much rain in the forecast over the next week.”
In fact, Hemingway said, the Bayou State’s weather conditions have been the perfect recipe for wildfires.
“With the kind of heat we’ve had, the soil moisture has just been depleted. And so that has really made conditions very conducive for wildfires.”
The state fire marshal’s office says anyone who violates or disregards the burn ban could face citations and criminal charges.
“In these instances, the fire department then engages with either local law enforcement or us,” said Rodrigue, the fire marshal’s office spokeswoman. “At this point, almost a month into this, to have the individual responsible for that fire given a citation. There are a couple different levels to this.”
Cooking outdoors and mowing the lawn are not banned; however, the state fire marshal wants you to be cautious.
“If you cook and that flame creates a fire that the fire department has to respond to, you will get cited,” Rodrigue said. “Mowing is not banned. But if you make an unwise decision and utilize equipment that can overheat or create a spark that creates a fire that the fire department has to respond to, you will have enforcement taken against you.”
The National Weather Service said that Louisiana hasn’t seen weather conditions this severe since 2011 and that you can expect the hot temperatures to stick around at least until September or October.
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