Bancroft area wildfires burn thousands of acres

Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 10:38 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A fire is burning close to the Bancroft community, prompting new evacuations today. The wildfires in the Singer, Merryville, and Bancroft areas have consumed more than 30-thousand acres.

Local authorities and volunteers have been working tirelessly to contain fires, but strong winds and dry conditions have made their efforts incredibly challenging.

“I would like to commend the volunteer fire department and also the first responders for the last few days of hard work they’ve been doing,” resident Russell Havens said. “They worked late last night 10:30, 11:00 at night fighting fires, they back at it again this morning, they have worked all day, they still out there fighting fires and they had done a tremendous job.”

There is no legal burning anywhere in the state of Louisiana right now. In past years, controlled burns or prescribed burns helped rid the forest of dead leaves, tree limbs, and other debris.

“15, 20 years ago we used have fire lanes, and they also did controlled burns so they kept when the debris got too high, the grow got too high, they would back burn their forests and keep everything burned down, so when you did have a forest fire, it wouldn’t get up over a foot or two high,” Havens said.

Back burning involves starting small fires along a man-made or natural firebreak in front of a main fire front and reduces the amount of fuel that’s available to the main fire by the time it reaches the burnt area.

“And with all the hurricane and the dry weather we have and all the debris that’s laying out there, it’s major fire forest fires waiting to happen,” Havens said.

For the latest on the wildfires in Singer, Merryville, and Bancroft, CLICK HERE.