Beauregard: More than 38,000 acres have burned

BEAUREGARD PARISH — The State Dept. of Agriculture & Forestry reports 38,656 acres have now burned in Beauregard Parish.

The fire, named Tiger Island Fire after the area it started at, continued to burn.

The fire started on Aug. 22 and the cause of the wildfire remains undetermined at this time.

The Southern Area Red Type One Incident Management Team has assumed command of the fire under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Aug. 28 update

With many additional personnel and equipment arriving on Aug. 27. the focus for operations will be to continue to establish dozer lines as direct as possible to the fire edge, mop up areas of heat and to continue work on identifying structures and ensuring structure protection is in place. Along the northern edge of the fire, crews will work to keep the fire south of Stamps Road and Shins Road and west of Schuetz Road.

Several spot fires were identified yesterday west of Schuetz Road and dozers lines were quickly established to contain those spots. These areas will continue to be monitored Fire personnel will continue to work twenty-four hours with day and night shift operations. 

Personnel and Equipment: 180 total personnel; 8 Helicopters, 10 Type-6 Engines, 10 Type-2 Tractor Plow Units, and 15 Dozers. Additional support is being provided by the National Guard, Parish authorities, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal Team, Beauregard Sherriff’s office, and the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The National Guard is supporting with Black Hawk helicopters and 16 dozers and the fire response is using Large Air Tankers, Scoopers and Air Attack from Texas. 

Aug. 27 update

“We’re so grateful to have the support of our neighboring states, our local partners, and the federal government. We have deployed every single piece of equipment and every single qualified person to fight these fires,” said DVM Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Fuel conditions combined with low relative humidity and gusty winds, especially during the afternoon, have the potential to produce extreme fire behavior. Temperatures will reach near 104 degrees with winds 8-13 MPH and relative humidity dropping to 28%. There is a potential for thunderstorms will develop this afternoon, bringing gusty and erratic winds which will increase fire behavior and could rekindle fire in areas that have been dormant.

Evacuations: From the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office, “As of this update every evacuation order, both voluntary and mandatory, remain in place with an extra emphasis on the areas along Seth Cole Rd. down to Graybow Road.” There are 2 shelters available at the First Methodist Church and First Baptist Church in DeRidder. Updates on evacuations can be found on the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/beauregardsheriff

There will be daily updates produced each morning and will be available on Inciweb and through the incident Facebook page. To be added to the distribution list to receive the daily updates via email, please send an email request to 2023.TigerIsland@firenet.gov.

Previous Update:

Officials in Beauregard Parish issued a mandatory evacuation for the town of Merryville as of 5pm on Aug. 24 in Beauregard Parish as a wildfire continues spreading. Beauregard Parish is north of Lake Charles.

“The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office is ordering a mandatory evacuation for the Town of Merryville and surrounding area due to wildfire approaching. This notice affects all residents and businesses. The fire could reach town limits within the next hour to two hours.  Buses will be at Merryville Town Hall for those that need transportation out of town. Please use caution leaving town. The shelter will be located at the First Methodist Church in DeRidder La.” 

Blackhawks dumping water on fire

The Beauregard wildfire has now burned nearly 13,000 acres in the parish.

“Highways 27 and 110 have been closed again do to fire and issues with traffic negotiating personnel and equipment. There has been a slight decrease in the 85% containment from this morning due to winds and rekindling. We ask you to please continue observing the burn ban and being diligent with conserving water in the area. We will update should it become necessary for Merryville and surrounding communities to be aware of increasing danger from fire,” said the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office.

State leaders are just short of begging Louisianians to please adhere to the statewide burn ban. With the current dry conditions, high temperatures and high winds, a single spark can spread setting acres on fire.

Just last week, firefighters and numerous volunteers from around the state stepped up to assist those in Sabine Parish with their wildfires.

Numerous firefighters in and around the Baton Rouge area continue fighting fire on a daily, well in excess of what they fought last year around the same time.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” said Livingston Parish Fire District Chief James Wascom. “I’ve been through a lot of burn bans. I’ve been to a lot of summers and lots of grass fires, but I don’t recall anything with the combination of three that we have right now.”

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