It's not uncommon for Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browing's office to issue a burn ban during the summer months in Louisiana. Often this time of year produces some of the hottest and driest days of a calendar year. However, dry or drought conditions are not the reason for a burn ban that will go into effect today.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is imposing a burn ban ( effective 8 am August 31) for persons living in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, Jackson, Jeff Davis, LaSalle, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, Union, Vernon, and Winn parishes. Yes, the burn ban is the result of Hurricane Laura.

However, the reason for the burn ban isn't that there isn't plenty of debris that could be burned. The reason has to do with water and the fact that the storm-damaged so many different water systems as it marched it was northward from Cameron Parish on the coast toward Lincoln and Ouachita Parishes at the northernmost part of the state.

Officials with the SFM Office hope the burn ban will reduce the unnecessary fire calls that local fire departments might be asked to respond to. There is also a concern that should a control burn get out of control there might not be adequate resources to battle that blaze.

If you do have debris to burn on your private property that is being allowed by special permission within your local fire jurisdiction. In other words, you need to ask somebody before you go lighting that pile of limbs and debris. Violation of this burn ban could result in criminal or civil penalties.