New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry says a controlled burn wouldn't be as fierce as the drilling platform inferno last week that preceded the spill. But it would create smoke and soot.
"This is a very, very controlled situation but possibly a highly effective situation, or option. We won't know that until we get out there and use it."
She said the leak at BP's well 40 miles off the Louisiana coast is unique because it's a mile underwater. Remote-controlled robots haven't been able to fix a valve on the seabed to stop the 42,000 gallons of crude spilling every day.
Landry says if the oil slick is set on fire, it will done be behind floating barriers and during daylight hours.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.