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Fire in Bayou Sauvage has already consumed 100 acres of swamp land

The fire is burning in a marshy area of the national wildlife refuge.

NEW ORLEANS — Firefighting teams are working to put out a smoky blaze in Bayou Sauvage. 

The fire is burning in a marshy area of the national wildlife refuge. It has already consumed about 100 acres of swamp land. 

Tuesday, a large helicopter dumped water from a nearby lagoon on the flames. 

Crews on the ground also worked to extinguish the burning marsh and wire grass. 

“We had it pinched up against the lagoon and it slipped on out through today,” said Sami Gray, Fire Incident Commander for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

Gray says the fire is pretty intense. 

“We are getting 15-foot flame lengths coming off from that, Gray said. “So, you can’t get right up on it and put it out. You have to cool it and then work your way into it. Very labor intensive as dry as it is in these hot conditions.” 

A lightning strike on Sunday likely sparked the blaze. 

“When we were here yesterday, we had at least two different fires in basically the same vicinity,” said Fish and Wildlife refuge manager Pon Dixson. “Now, it looks like we’re dealing with one fire here, basically east of Highway 11.” 

The fire lit up the night sky. 

Kevin Quatrevingt shot images of the orange glow over the east, Monday night. 

He was back on Tuesday to check out the fire in the daylight. 

“I ended up working late,” Quatrevingt said. “I was heading home on I-10 out through the Twin Spans and saw it burning off in the distance. I just pulled over and decided to take a few pictures. It was burning pretty bright.” 

Firefighting teams say this fire is particularly difficult to extinguish because of the rough and swampy terrain and because of the swirling winds which keep changing the characteristics of the blaze.  

“It’s going to take a few days,” Dixson said. “We’ve got to extinguish the above ground fire to assess whether or not the fire is burning underground.”  

Fish and Wildlife officials are asking residents to slow down and be aware of fire crews and equipment on Highway 11 near Chef Highway. 

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises drivers to be cautious when driving near Bayou Sauvage. 

DOTD warns these roads could potentially be affected by visibility because of the smoke:
· US 11 between Irish Bayou AND US 90 (Chef Menteur Hwy)
· US 90 from I-510 to Venetian Isles
· I-10 between I-510 AND the Twin Span 


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