BEAUREGARD WILDFIRES: Wind pushes fire east, prompts more evacuations
BEAUREGARD PARISH, La. (KPLC) - Beauregard Parish is entering the sixth day of wildfires since the Tiger Island Fire was reported Monday evening.
Several towns and communities remain under evacuation orders.
The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office estimates that 50,000 to 60,000 acres have burned so far.
Fire containment remains near 50% as of Saturday evening, BPSO said.
Responders focused primarily on areas burning north of Merryville and northeast of Merryville towards Junction, Nichols Sibley Rd., and all the connecting roads to Seth Cole Rd. and Graybow Rd., BPSO said. The dry vegetation and winds are energizing this section and pushing it east.
Bulldozers will be used to cut lanes to assist in containment tonight, BPSO said.
LDAF said seven other fires ignited today in Beauregard Parish but have been extinguished or contained.
Strike teams from Oklahoma and Tennessee are expected to arrive Sunday, BPSO said.
Beauregard Electric and CLECO estimate that 230 to 250 customers are without power.
Officials are asking residents to avoid sightseeing of the fires because the roads are needed for emergency personnel.
While a total of 18 to 22 structures have been lost to the fire, no injuries or deaths have been reported.
Click HERE for a map from NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System.
- The City of DeRidder is evacuating nursing homes within the city out of an abundance of caution due to the fire’s unpredictability and its fast-moving nature Saturday night. The city says for residents to not panic, but rather stay alert and prepared.
- The Beauregard Covered Arena is being evacuated and animals are being accepted at the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, BPSO said. The Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds will not be taking in animals as they are at full capacity.
- A mandatory evacuation was issued for the Junction community, south to Neale Oil Field, east to Seth Cole Road, and north of U.S. 190 with heightened attention between Schuetz and Seth Cole to include Pershing Loftin Bubba Loftin Graybow and Baldridge Roads, was re-issued at 5 a.m. Saturday.
- A mandatory evacuation was issued for areas east of Seth Cole Road, north and south of U.S. 190W through to Williams, Vigor Myers, Maul, and Willie Hargrove roads, and all nearby communities at 9 p.m. Saturday.
- A voluntary evacuation was issued for residents in the Hauser Road area and points north Friday evening.
- A fire northeast of Longville caused mandatory evacuations for Memorial Church Road, Whittington Road, and Ragle Road was issued at 4 p.m. Friday.
- Mandatory evacuation was issued for the Bancroft community at 2 p.m. Friday.
- All residents in the Singer area and north remain under evacuation orders. Area includes Fred Cloessner Road; Bob Cooley Road; Ira Cooley Road; John Bowman Road; North end of Newlin Cemetery Road; Mitchell Loop; Kenneth Dunn Road; Robert Slaydon Road.
- The Town of Merryville and the surrounding area is under a mandatory evacuation. A shelter has been set up at the First Methodist Church in DeRidder.
The American Red Cross is also set up at the First United Methodist Church, 406 W. Shirley St., DeRidder, with some cots if people need to evacuate. For more information, call the church office at 337-463-4491.
Dry Creek Baptist Camp, 8237 La. 113, is taking in people who need to evacuate. They have lodging and meals. First responders can also go there to cool off, if need be. Call the camp if you have questions, 337-495-3222.
- La. 389 and La. 110 near Merryville are now open.
- La. 27 between La. 110 and Ball Road is closed.
- U.S. 190 from La. 111 to the Texas state line is now open.
- La. 111 is closed to most traffic this morning, authorities are only allowing residents through at this time.
Singer Water Works District 3 is reporting that a large portion of their water is going towards fighting the fires. The fires have damaged water infrastructure. Firefighters are also supplementing this by pulling water out of ponds.
Officials are stressing to residents to hold back on watering lawns during this time. Residents can expect low water pressure in certain areas across the parish in the meantime but there is enough water for regular use such as washing dishes, showers, etc.
The Beauregard Parish Police Jury is reporting a water outage in some areas on the north end of the system in Singer. The fires have destroyed the main line forcing them to shut the water off.
“There are water lines that are busted due to the fire. We are currently trying to get those repaired as we speak. We are holding our own right now, but to clarify something here on the water line being busted, Water District 2 is actually losing 700 gallons of water a minute due to the water lines being broken,” Director of Beauregard Emergency Preparedness Scott Greenum said.
Singer Water is requesting residents not use personal water hoses to combat fires. Officials say volume and pressure have become a major issue and are asking residents “to please trust and leave the firefighting task to the agencies here to fight the fires.”
The outage is affecting the following areas:
- Newlin Cemetery Road
- Ben Elston Road
- Mitchell Loop
- Grantham Road
- Dude Slaydon Road
- McGregor Road
- Jim West Road
- Lut Cooley Road
- Parts of La. 110 East to Ashworth Road
- Beehive Loop.
Officials say if you lose water you will be on a precautionary boil advisory once the water is restored. No repairs can be made to the system until the fire has subsided.
Additionally, Beauregard Electric has interrupted power along Highway 110 from Singer and heading west to Merryville. As a safety precaution, residents are being asked to stay away from utility lines as crews continue to monitor the situation.
A Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief feeding unit is set up at the Beauregard Baptist Association (735 West Drive, DeRidder) and is providing meals for all first responders, linemen, forestry, evacuees at the Red Cross Center and they can deliver where needed for volunteers working the fires. Call the BBA office at 337-202-4043 for more information. Check back Friday for meal times.
The Church International - Rosepine has been providing meals for those affected by the fire and first responders in Beauregard and Vernon parishes. Follow the church page for updates for this meal outreach. Check back for future meal times.
The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office says Catholic Charities is handling private donations both monetary and food. The organization will also be coordination food distribution. Catholic Charities can be reached at (337) 419-4393.
The United Way of Southwest Louisiana has launched a Fire Relief Fund to support individuals and families who have been affected by the fires in Beauregard Parish. 100% of the proceeds will be directed to distributing these funds to the community and assisting firefighters. Donations can be made on their website HERE or by texting FIRESWLA to 40403.
The United Way is also working with any organization or company that wishes to make an in-kind donation to these communities. If you would like to make an in-kind donation you can fill out an online form HERE.
Elite Window Tinting is taking donations for first responders outside Stine’s on Nelson Road in Lake Charles.
The Houston River Fire Department says they are overwhelmed and incredibly thankful for the community’s support in donating supplies for the firefighters in the Singer staging area.
Chief Dean Lappe says they have all the supplies they’ll need for now but will let people know if they start to get low again.
The DeRidder Fire Department also thanked everyone who dropped off supplies recently and gave special thanks to First National Bank, New Step Outreach, DeRidder Lions Club, Grace Church, Merchants and Farmers Bank, Dollar General, Beauregard ARC, and Clothes Depot.
Dewith Carrier State Representative District 32 is collecting donations of Liquid IV Hydration packets to distribute to first responders and volunteers in Beauregard Parish. If you can help, contact the district office at 318-335-0206 and arrangements will be made to pick up the donations.
New Step Outreach, DeRidder, has been making and distributing snack kits for first responders. Contact the organization for more information, 337-226-5602.
Water, Gatorade and non-perishable snacks for first responders can be dropped off at the Westside Fire Station in DeRidder, 102 Wilson Street. Firefighters will get it to the areas in need. This is to limit the traffic in and around the response area.
The Beauregard Covered Arena is now being evacuated (Saturday, 11:00 pm). Deputies say residents can move their animals to the Burton Colosseum.
The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office Animal Control has availability in their new facility if someone should need to house pets there. For more information, call 337-460-5511. The facility is located at 412 Bolivar Bishop Drive. You may also call if you need assistance with evacuating your pets.
Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office expressed to Singer and Merryville residents that if livestock wanders onto their property and they have the ability to safely keep them, they ask that they please do so and notify the sheriff’s office. Officials said it is likely they had to be “turned out” because of the fire.
The Beauregard Parish Fair Grounds are open. Please use the north gate by the baseball fields. If you need a place to park equipment, RVs, campers - anything — the fairgrounds are open for you. Please park in an orderly fashion. There are pens that can house small animals. Bring any extra cages, if needed. Cats must be in cages. Bring food for your animals. If you need to contact management, call 337-396-7715 or 337-375-2028. Please note you are doing this at your own risk.
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