Lightning sparks Wildfires at Sabine Nation Wildlife Refuge - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lightning sparks Wildfires at Sabine Nation Wildlife Refuge

CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex Fire Management reported wildfires started by lightning strikes late Monday evening on and near the Sabine NWR. NWR Complex Fire Management Officer Jamie Farmer and his staff said they were able to survey a portion of the refuge by air boat before dark. Officials say the wildfire is burning in the northeast corner of Sabine Management Unit 3, now being referred to as the Wigeon Fire. Unit 3 is an approximately 30,000-acre impoundment with a densely vegetated area of about 7,000 acres within the northeastern corner that could be susceptible. However, size of the fire has not been determined at this time.

Officials say the wildfire is also burning on private land north of the refuge and appeared to have burned several thousand acres by Monday evening. Smoke from the Wigeon Fire prevented further surveying of additional smoke columns to the west that may also be associated with the refuge wildfires. The Sabine NWR ordered additional resources Tuesday morning, including a helicopter to assist with further assessing of the situation. 

Officials say there are no facilities at risk within the refuge at this time. 

According to the Sabine Wildlife National Refuge, it is a common occurrence this time of year for lightening caused by seasonal thunderstorms to spark wildfires throughout Southwest Louisiana's coastal marshes. The Complex Fire Management Office will have additional information on these wildfires as it becomes available.     

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