Louisiana governor urges against grilling over holiday weekend due to extreme drought conditions

The public is asked to forgo outdoor barbecues
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 12:16 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As Louisiana continues to grapple with ongoing wildfires and extreme drought conditions, Governor John Bel Edwards has issued a plea to the public, asking them to refrain from outdoor barbecuing and campfires during the Labor Day weekend to prevent potential fire hazards.

“I’m asking that people not engage in barbecuing and so forth outside where a fire can start. Let’s be patient, let’s not create more work for firefighters across the state of Louisiana,” urged Governor Edwards.

Jennifer Wallace, the manager of Fontainebleau State Park’s sprawling 2,800 acres, acknowledges the challenges this request presents to parkgoers.

“Here at Fontainebleau, camping and barbecuing and campfires, they kind of go hand-in-hand. But right now, in an attempt to protect our community and our state parks, we’re just asking people not to bring charcoal and barbecue, don’t use your propane and barbecue with that,” she stated.


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“I’m sure that some folks may find it inconvenient and perhaps a crimp in their camping plans. But keeping in mind the overall importance of the ban, in this particular weather, I’m sure that folks would comply readily with it,” said visitor Pete Dolhonde.

Michael Masson echoed a similar sentiment. “Little disappointing, but we did just fine with our rig,” he mentioned.

Some colleges and universities have reiterated the governor’s request ahead of the college football kickoff weekend, including ULL and Nicholls, although officials say you should not partake in any open-flame cooking at any event this weekend.

Despite recent rainfall in some areas, both Governor Edwards and Wallace emphasize that the ground remains dry due to weeks of very dry conditions, underscoring the ongoing need for fire prevention measures.

See also: Rain does little to lessen Louisiana wildfire risk

“No ma’am, that was not enough. The ground needed it, the trees needed it, but that was not enough to lift the burn ban. We still can’t allow bar-b-que pits and campfires,” Wallace affirmed.

“It dried out very quickly, and you can tell the ground was very, very dry,” Masson agreed.

“Don’t light a match, don’t throw a cigarette butt on the ground. It doesn’t take much at all; just a tiny little cigarette butt can cause an entire acre to go down quickly,” Wallace said.

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