Posted on January 22, 2014 at 7:14 PM
Wednesday, Jan 22 at 7:31 PM
Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl
LORANGER, La. - Even though an entire day has almost passed, trees, leaves and parts of the ground are still smoking from a brush fire that took over some property on Chappepeela Road in Loranger Tuesday night.
There have been more than 30 brush fires called in across Tangipahoa Parish since the start of the week. Fire officials say the wind and dry conditions feeding flames from burn piles are to blame.
"All these smaller departments, they really can't go anymore, they're to the end of their amount of manpower they have,” said Tangipahoa Parish Fire District #2 Administrator Dennis Crocker, “It's just taxing these departments and they can't keep up with them."
Across the parish line, in Folsom, a burn pile turned into a fully-engulfed field, which jumped to a barn full of equipment, cars and tanks. But a hard-fought battle kept the flames from taking an entire house just 20 feet away.
St. Tammany Fire District #5 Chief David Pittman said, “It was a miracle, or a blessing, that we were able to save this house."
"This crew really worked at this to save it,” said homeowner John Martinez, “I mean we lost a lot, but they really worked."
The state fire marshal has only issued a burn advisory, for now, warning of the dangers of burning in these conditions. But those who have seen the consequences first-hand are urging people to listen to the warnings.
"First, I'd ask them to hold off on burning and to use common sense," said Pittman.
Null said, "I would definitely say stop. Take precaution. If you're going to burn trash, dig a trench around it and soak it with water, so it cannot spread."
Four parishes have declared their own burn bans. Tangipahoa and St. Tammany leaders say they’ll follow the direction of the Fire Marshal’s Office regarding any bans in those parishes.