Minden Fire Chief: Burn ban still in effect

Grass fire last week on I-20 eastbound, exit 47.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Since the burn ban was put into place, Minden Fire Department has received calls to several fires, two of which involved something few people may think about – grilling.

“People should be cautioned to use gas grills only right now,” said Minden Fire Chief Brian Williams. “There is danger using charcoal and wood to grill right now.”

With one of the fires MFD tended recently, the resident lit charcoal and went into his house “to let it burn down.”

“When he came out, there was a fire between his house and the neighbor’s,” said the chief. “A piece of lit charcoal had fallen down under the grill and set the grass on fire.”

The most difficult fire MFD had the lead on was a grass fire near Exit 47 eastbound on Interstate 20 Thursday. Williams said there is little way the cause a fire of this nature can be determined.

“There were a little over two acres that burned,” he said. 

Fire District 7 (Dixie Inn) brought aid in the way of a tanker of water.

“The Department of Agriculture and Forestry brought a dozer to plow a line around the fire,” Williams said. “So, we got it contained pretty quickly and spent the next hour and a half hitting hot spots, making sure everything was out.”

MFD was called back to the Interstate around 1 a.m. Friday to take care of more hot spots that popped up. Williams said a crew monitored that location throughout the day.

But while the original fire was burning Thursday, Fire District 4 was reportedly dispatched to aid with a car fire on I-20 near the Bienville Parish line.

“We sent a couple of personnel from Minden to assist with that,” said the chief. “We were wrapping up the fire on I-20 when they got back, and Fire District 10 caught a call for a grass fire on Dorcheat Road. We sent more personnel from the city to assist them.”

Williams said the last fire covered about 1.5 acres.

“One shed structure burned, a boat and a couple of flat bed trailers with various things on them,” he said. “A lot of things burned up in that one.”

And even though it has rained twice in the past two weeks, Williams said that does not mean the ban is lifted.

“It will take a lot more rain than we’ve had to remove the ban,” he said.