State agencies update marsh burn

Michael Tortorich

State agencies continue to assist Orleans Parish with the marsh burn in a remote area of New Orleans East.

The Department of Environmental Quality has monitors throughout the area testing for more than just fine particle matter such as dust. Those levels for pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, total hydrocarbons and sulfur dioxide, have shown no levels that would require an air quality alert.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) readings are well below the standard and should not be related to the marsh fire. However, particulate matter continues to reach the orange level on the Air Quality Index. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive people. Children, the elderly and people with respiratory disorders should avoid prolonged exertion.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) estimated acreage burned as of Aug. 31 is 1,050 acres; another 500 acres located within the natural containment area has not yet burned.

The fire is likely to spread to the edge of the natural containment area unless it is extinguished by rain or by suppression efforts.

A second fire of 24 acres east of the marsh fire is contained.

It has not been confirmed that the fire is underground.