The heat is on, the burn ban continues and Minden Fire Chief Kip Mourad warns: If you burn it, you will be fined.
Mourad told members of the Minden City Council Monday that, according to Louisiana Revised Statute 30:2025(F), if a person burns something that isn't leaves, twigs, branches or vines, the fine can be hefty.
"State law says that you can be fined up to $1 million and the cost of cleanup made necessary," Mourad said. "Also, it says you may be fined up to $100,000 per violation each day the violation continues, and you may be imprisoned at hard labor for up to 10 years ... or both."
Although the state-wide burn ban has been lifted, the one in Webster Parish remains, which means, according to the chief, even those smaller items (leaves, etc.) cannot be burned.
The best way to know when or what to burn, Mourad requested persons call the fire department.
"Someone will come out and talk to you about it ... and monitor what you are doing," he said. "You will be liable if what you are burning gets out of control."
Mourad said he is sometimes contacted by contractors, who, when demolishing old structures, would like to burn their materials.
"It's not as expensive to burn, compared to hauling them off," Mourad said. "But it's against the law to burn two-by-fours. It's against the law to burn shingles, tires, household garbage ... anything."
Mourad said the law extends outside the city limits, and the burn ban does, also.
"Even though the state has lifted the burn ban, it is still ongoing in Webster Parish – the whole parish," he said. "It's even against the law to burn in a 55-gallon drum in your yard."
There are some exceptions, Mourad said, but a call to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is necessary to acquire a variance.