OUACHITA PARISH, La (KTVE/KARD) — The state of Louisiana issued a statewide burn ban recently.

Dusty Harris with the Ouachita Parish Fire Department explained what that means for locals. “Ouachita Parish automatically adopts a statewide burn ban, so we are under a burn ban. What it means is that we are trying to minimize the amount of burning that’s happening outside. I know that the state has verbiage in there that says that you can barbecue on grills or fire pits, but we need to be aware that when we clean those fire pits out or clean the barbecue grills, what we do with those ashes and those leftovers may tend to transfer to a large fire.”

Harris also specifically explains what you can’t do during a burn ban. “One of the big things during the statewide burn ban we’re trying to restrict is burning brush and rubbish in the yard. A lot of times when people work and clean up the yard, they want to burn sticks or leaves, and then a lot of times winds come up, and with the dryness that we’re experiencing and the heat that we’re experiencing, it is baking out all the moisture in the vegetation, and it just spreads.”

Harris explains the penalties and fines. “There can be penalties and fines. In Ouachita Parish, the maximum penalties can be up to $500.”