Fireworks Over New Year’s Holiday Likely Sparked LA Marsh Fire

 

Posted: Jan 1, 2024

Slug: NMG-Fireworks-over-New-Years-holiday-likely-sparked-ma

Anthony Mcauley and Chelsea Shannon
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate
(TNS)

Jan. 1—Firefighters in St. Tammany Parish battled a Slidell-area marsh fire authorities believe was likely started by fireworks over the New Year’s holiday.

St. Tammany Fire Protection District #1 personnel extinguished the marsh fire near Highway 11 and Carr Drive overnight Sunday while many were celebrating the new year. The suspected cause of the fire was fireworks, officials said.

Jason Gaubert, District #1 assistant chief and spokesperson, said the drought conditions that led to widespread wildfires last year, including a weeks-long burn in the Bayou Sauvage swamp, still makes brushland in the area vulnerable.

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“We prepared our guys a week ago and had a boat ready to respond,” Gaubert said, noting that New Year’s Eve and July 4th typically brings a higher risk of fire from fireworks. “We’ve had some rain but it wasn’t enough to make up for the drought.”

Lower visibility

The National Weather Service in Slidell said the fire had contributed to low visibility in the area early on Monday.

The fire, the lingering smoke from fireworks across the city on New Year’s Even, and radiation fog caused by cool temperatures all combined to make visibility in the Slidell area just a quarter-of-a-mile early in the day, said Megan Williams, a meteorologist at the NWS.

“It’s been burning off all morning and should get better throughout the day,” she added.

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Visibility throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area was reduced by the lingering firework smoke and fog. It was down to four miles at the lakefront and at Louis Armstrong International Airport, according to NWS. It was seven miles in the Houma area. In clear conditions visibility is 10 miles.

During the worst of the area wildfires in October, a pile up on Interstate 55 left seven people dead.

A cold front passing through the region later Monday is expected to have some precipitation and help improve visibility by Tuesday, Williams said.

Temperatures Tuesday night are expected to reach freezing levels on the northshore and lows of about 40 south of the lake.

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The St. Tammany fire district noted this was the second fire in two weeks for this area. Firefighters extinguished another marsh fire in the same part of Slidell on Dec. 22.

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  Posted: Jan 1, 2024 Slug: NMG-Fireworks-over-New-Years-holiday-likely-sparked-ma Anthony Mcauley and Chelsea Shannon The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate (TNS) Jan. 1—Firefighters in St. Tammany Parish battled a Slidell-area marsh fire authorities believe was likely started by fireworks over the New Year’s holiday. St. Tammany Fire Protection District #1 personnel extinguished the marsh fire near Highway 11 and Carr Drive overnight Sunday while many were […]

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