John Harper / Houma Courier
RACELAND, La. -- Smoke from a marsh fire closed U.S. 90 in both directions for two hours Friday between the La. 316 and La. 182 exits near Houma.
State Police Troop C Spokesman Evan Harrell said the road was closed at 4:23 p.m. because low visibility created a safety hazard. Alternate routes have been provided, and there is no clear timeline for reopening the highway.
The road was reopened after firefighters got the marsh fire under control and smoke dissipated, Harrell said.
Flames lapped the sides of La. 182 as drivers faced a traffic nightmare on roads leading up to 90 and its off-ramps.
Eastbound traffic was diverted to La. 316 heading south, onto La. 182 north and back onto U.S. 90 at the La. 182 onramp. Westbound traffic was diverted onto La. 182 south, La. 316 north and back onto U.S. 90 west at the La. 316 onramp.
The fire burned a stretch of marsh to the north of U.S. 90 and was discovered early Friday afternoon, according to Schriever Fire Department Chief Ken Pitre.
Both the Raceland and Bayou Blue fire departments sent personnel, at one point calling off the effort due to the size and inaccessibility of the blaze, Pitre said..
"I live near St. Louis church and traffic is just about stopped in both directions on Bayou Blue Road," Houma resident Keri Bullock wrote on The Courier's Facebook page. "We don't smell the smoke but we can see an orange glow now that it's getting dark."
The cause of the fire remains unknown. Harrell said a trooper will monitor the scene over night incase the blaze flares up again.