The US Coast Guard has conducted a controlled blaze to fight the giant oil slick formed after the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig explosion last week.

The Coast Guard is planning small, controlled burns of several hundred gallons, each lasting about an hour.

Thousands of floating booms will be deployed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama in an attempt to contain the oil slick.

The oil spill is 23 miles off the Louisiana coast, but a shift in winds could push the spill inland to the Louisiana coast, endangering the area’s estuaries and swamps.

Eleven workers are missing presumed dead after the rig exploded on 20 April. The rig sank on 22 April after burning for two days following the explosion.