Louisiana motorists reminded to follow statewide burn ban and avoid actions that could start roadside fires

Published 8:27 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is reminding motorists that the statewide burn ban remains in effect as extreme high temperatures and dry conditions continue. No outdoor burning of any kind is allowed during a burn ban, and drivers should refrain from any actions that could potentially start a roadside fire.

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry issued a statewide burn ban on August 7. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on August 15 because of these ongoing extreme weather conditions.

Drivers traveling along Louisiana’s roads and highways are urged against any actions that may inadvertently start a fire. Motorists should not discard any cigarettes out of their vehicle into nearby shoulders, roadside ditches, or grassy areas. Doing so may potentially cause a fire that could quickly spread under these dry and hot conditions and lead to reduced visibility or lanes/roadways being shut down.

Chains being dragged off trailers can throw sparks into hot and dry grassy areas, which could aid in starting roadside fires. Drivers should inspect all safety chains and ensure they are properly connected.

During a statewide burn ban, private burning is only allowed by permission of the local fire department or local government, according to the Louisiana State Fire Marshal. Anyone who violates the burn ban could face criminal and/or civil penalties.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Office of Forestry is responsible for responding to wildfires. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or the LDAF 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at 1-855-452-5323.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.

For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please let us know how we may better serve you: Customer Service Survey.