Grass fires a concern this Easter weekend - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Grass fires a concern this Easter weekend

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GONZALES, LA (WAFB) -

Firefighters have been keeping a close eye on the forecast, looking for any kind of moisture that can help with keep the possibility of grass fires down this weekend. There are some things you can do to protect your property during an outdoor cookout.

The crawfish are flying off the shelves at Christian's Seafood, nearly 300 sacks are ready to roll. Neal Bryant made sure he had his name tagged to two of them. Bryant gets home and breaks into his preboil routine; purging, seasoning and bringing his batch to a rolling boil.

"I don't put any kind of flashing around here because the worst thing that can happen around here is that you get a little grass fire here. To prevent that, I keep the water hose nearby so we can put out any kind of fires that may happen," said Bryant.

And they do, more often than you may think. State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says "What I'm hearing from firefighters right now, roughly about 50 of their fire responses right now are going to grass fires."

Browning says dry but windy conditions, which he says are common this time of year, have turned grass into a hay-like texture that will catch fire fast.

"This is so dry. It'll dry so rapidly and you can see the wind. And the wind would take the embers and blow them away," said Browning.

While there is a possibility of a rain in the forecast, Browning says it will not be enough to change the conditions on the ground.

"The danger will still be there. It would take rain over a period of weeks to bring that high level fire danger, high level drought, down to a lower level."

Bryant says safety is his priority, besides having his hose handy, he's made sure all of this equipment is up to standard as well.

"We keep the bottles as far away from the fire as possible and you see all of the bottles are all dated and all up to code," said Bryant.

A few pounds of his favorite ingredients and the main course, and Bryant is good to go.

If you're barbecuing this weekend, Browning says the best way to make sure your charcoals are out is to submerge them in a bucket of water.

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