Satellite Image of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

To avert a natural disaster along the wetlands of the Louisiana coastline, the Coast Guard today started a controlled burn of the oil slick formed from the Gulf oil rig explosion. According to the Coast Guard News website:

Workboats will consolidate oil into a fire resistant boom approximately 500 feet long. This oil will then be towed to a more remote area, where it will be ignited and burned in a controlled manner. The plan calls for small, controlled burns of several thousand gallons of oil lasting approximately one hour each.

Since the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig, an uncapped well has been pumping 42,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf, according to this CNN report. Hopefully, the controlled burn contains the impending natural disaster.