Fire fighters battle marsh fire in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - A large marsh fire in New Orleans East has been burning since Friday, August 26, 2011. According to a report from the National Weather Service, the marsh fire is affecting some areas of Jefferson Parish with some of the most significant smoke and ash coming from the Westbank of Jefferson Parish.

The fire is reportedly burning near I-10 and I-510 in a large marsh near Michoud in New Orleans East.

Jonathan Pajeaud, a New Orleans Fire Department official said anyone commuting to and from New Orleans should keep windows up as an extra precaution.

"As of yet, the smoke hasn't affected the interstate system, however, if it does we'll get the police department involved," Pajeaud said. "Smoke is already affecting a large porting of Algiers and the Westbank."

Pilots from New Orleans Mosquito Control will be flying over the marsh to find out how large the marsh fire is.

According to the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) the fire is just below the surface of the marsh in an area that is totally inaccessible to fire equipment. The National Weather Service stated that the NOFD may allow the fire to burn itself out since it is in an uninhabited area.

Forecasters said north winds and other weather factors could cause the smoke and ash to stay close to the ground. However, forecasters warn conditions could worsen late in the night and in the morning.

The National Weather Service is warning people in the surrounding area that smoke may be irritable for people with respiratory conditions.

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