This desperate attempt to thwart an ecological disaster is the first time a controlled burn had been attempted off the US shoreline, say media reports.
To assess the effectiveness of the method, the crews began test burns on Wednesday, Apr 28 east of the delta of the Mississippi River.
After failing to stop the ever-growing oil spill from creeping towards the shores, the crew set fire to sections of the massive spill using hand-held flares.
The spill was growing at a rate of 1,000-barrel-a-day. The big blob of oil measured 100 miles long and 45 miles wide at its widest point.
The oil slick is nearing Louisiana coastline. If the oil reached the shores, birds and wildlife would be at risk besides having devastating effects on human life starting from toursim to right down to every day life.
The spill was a result of an explosion at a rig operated by British Petroleum. The oil rig was engulfed in fire last week before it sank into the water leading to the current crisis-like situation.