BATON ROUGE — The National Weather Service confirms that the smoky haze across southeast Louisiana is from wildfires in the central and western parts of the state.
Multiple fire departments confirm they’re receiving several calls for smoke in the air and a haze throughout East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes.
District 4’s Fire Chief James Wascom in Livingston Parish tells Unfiltered with Kiran they started receiving calls around 8 a.m. on Sunday from the Port Vincent, Walker and Watson areas with callers saying there was smoke outside.
At least one viewer from the Walker area tells UWK that “it smells like plastic burning outside or something electrical.”
St. George Fire Department & Baton Rouge Fire also tell UWK they too are responding to calls in and around Baton Rouge with the same, smoke and a haze in the air.
Winds have pushed the smoke into the Baton Rouge area, the NWS confirms. They say a decent inversion formed in the low levels trapping the smoke and blowing it across the state.
Weather experts say the hazing conditions should improve throughout the day Sunday before another inversion Sunday shifts another round of smoke this direction. Rain and a shift in wind Monday and Tuesday should alleviate the smoke and haze.
So far, the Beauregard Parish fire has now burned over 38,000 acres. It’s believed that fire is the smoke people are seeing in EBR & Livingston parishes.
“We cannot get a final number of acreage burned until the fire is completely out and we can get on the ground to get a full assessment but as of now, we have over 20,000 acres that have burned,” said LDAF pio Megan Moore.
LDAF added that between the early morning hours of Aug. 24 and throughout that entire day, “multiple wildfires devastated the area near Union Hill in southwest Rapides Parish.”
Officials add the LDAF investigators have now determined the wildfires were purposely started. Arson is to blame for the wildfire, per LDAF. Anyone with information on the wildfires is asked to call law enforcement.
Once again, a statewide burn ban remains in place. Please do not burn anything!