BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Half of Louisiana's parishes are too dry to allow private burning, say State Fire Marshal H. Butch Browning and Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.

They ordered a burn ban in 32 parishes, starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The order made public late Tuesday covers most of North and Central Louisiana, plus Avoyelles Parish in Acadiana.

The parishes are: Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, DeSoto, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, LaSalle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Carroll and Winn.

Until it is rescinded, permission from the local fire department or local government is needed for any private burning.

People who violate the order could face civil and criminal penalties.

Central and North Louisiana parishes not included in the ban include Grant, Vernon, Beauregard, Allen, and those on the Mississippi River: East Carroll, Madison, Tensas, and Concordia.

State law exempts prescribed burns by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry or by people it has trained and certified, as well as people who conduct prescribed burning as a "generally accepted agriculture practice" as defined by the Louisiana Right to Farm Law.

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