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Fish and Wildlife Service Fire Prevention Efforts at Big Branch Marsh NWR Lower Insurance Rates for Local Residents & Businesses



August 10, 2004

Tom MacKenzie, 404-679-7291
Byron Fortier,
985-882-2025, cell: 504-722-1105



P. Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget
Chief Chuck Flynn, Fire Chief, Lacombe Volunteer Fire Department


News Conference & Tour of Wildland-Urban Fire Interface


Thursday, August 12, 2004 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


St. Tammany Fire District Training Facility
29278 Highway 190, Lacombe, La.
Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
North of New Orleans, La.


P. Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget and Chuck Flynn, Chief, Lacombe Volunteer Fire Department, will announce today that fire prevention actions taken by Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), just north of New Orleans, La., have resulted in a drop in fire insurance risk, benefiting St. Tammany Parish residents. Over the past two years, the Service has also provided the fire department with $10,000 in Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) grants to equip and train the professional and volunteer fire fighters in wildland fire fighting techniques. A recent review indicates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cooperative partnerships have led to a reduction of the Insurance Service Office (ISO) fire rating from 5 to 3 for St. Tammany Fire Protection District #3. Media tour showing how fire planning and fuel reduction efforts by mechanical and prescribed fire have helped reduce the risk to local residents and businesses while enhancing wildlife habitat.


Photos & map to location available at:

  • Marsh master an amphibious low ground-pressure machine used to transport equipment and people in and around marsh fires. Soft track (heavier version of Marshmaster) and brush truck fire engine.
  • Wildland-Urban Interface ? forested areas before and after mechanical (mowing, trimming, clearing) & prescribed fire treatments (controlled burn).
  • Fire Fighting Equipment purchased with $10,000 grant to Lacombe Volunteer Fire Department.


From New Orleans via causeway: Cross Lake Pontchartrain, go east on 12, south on 434, left on 190, go a mile east to the fire station. From New Orleans via 10: Cross twin spans, merge with 12, exit on 12 west, Take exit 74 ? 434 south., left on 190, go a mile east to the fire station. Meet at Fire Station at 1:00 p.m. for short announcement. Ride in FWS vans or follow in your media vehicles to two sites illustrating this issue. For more info, visit National Wildfire Coordinating Group:,

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Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

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