WILDFIRE UPDATES: Beauregard schools resume Tuesday

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 6:07 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2023 at 4:53 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As we enter a second week of first responders working to contain wildfires amid hot and dry conditions across our area, we have the latest on what residents need to know.

Evacuation Orders

Only three areas remain under voluntary evacuation.

  • The Junction community north of Merryville town limits and east on Hwy 190W to Seth Cole Rd. This includes both sides of Hwy 190W as far south as Neale Oilfield Rd and as far north as the parish line.
  • Seth Cole Road east to Williams/Vigor Miers Road. This includes both sides of Hwy 190W north to the parish line and south to Jack Nelson Road.
  • Hauser Road and Ragle Road which are just north of Longville on Hwy 171.


All Beauregard Parish schools will resume normal operations Tuesday.


Red Cross, who provided a shelter to evacuees at First United Methodist Church in DeRidder, is giving out a case of water and bagged meals to families as they leave to return home.

Catholic Charities of SWLA is providing assistance with case management and food distribution. For those who have lost frozen food, they may be able to help. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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 Market on Mahlon Street vendors have been feeding those impacted as well as first responders. Follow the market page to follow their meal updates.


United Way of Southwest Louisiana has a fire fund where they are collecting money to assist those affected.

The Beauregard Sheriff’s Office says Catholic Charities will be handling private donations of money and food along with distribution of food. They can be contacted 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.

Houston River Fire Department 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.

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.

Overnight Rain

Rain, it’s the sound everyone has been waiting to hear in Southwest Louisiana. Everyone is hoping that it brought a little bit of help to the first responders battling wildfires across our area.

Meteorologist Joseph Enk says the rain likely helped out a little and maybe makes a bit of difference in keeping new fires from popping up for a bit. Unfortunately, most areas got less than an inch of rain. So not enough to help drought conditions or lift any burn bans.

Without enough rain to alleviate the hot and dry conditions we are in, the wind remains an issue as gusts can carry ash and fire to different areas making them more difficult to contain. And even with the rain, this week’s thunderstorms present the risk of lightning starting new fires.

Tiger Island

Sheriff Mark Herford says he’s never seen anything like the Tiger Island fire and neither have state officials, “As a matter of fact, when speaking with the Governor and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, they have checked back in the records and as far as they can find this is the largest wildfire ever recorded in the history of the State of Louisiana. It’s an unprecedented act.”

The Merryville Police Department says no homes or other structures were lost within the town limits. Though outside of Merryville, tens of thousands of acres have burned since the fire began nearly a week ago. Power is currently being restored.

Incident commanders say two dozers, seven engines, and over 40 firefighters, including a structure protection group, were working overnight to continue containing the fire.

Sheriff Herford says the Emergency Operations Center will be assessing what effect if any last night’s rain had on their progress in fighting the fire.

In areas outside Merryville, between 20 and 25 structures, which are not necessarily houses, have been damaged. Crews will be going out today to assess what those structures were. During that process, they will also be checking to see if anyone was injured or died as a result of those structures being burned.

The good news is, so far authorities have received no reports of injuries or missing persons.

The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office will be holding a briefing later this morning to provide updates. Yesterday’s briefing included the hand off from state officials to federal agencies which means an increase in assets coming into the area for first responders.

According to InciWeb, the interagency all-risk incident information management system, the Tiger Island Fire is currently located east of Merryville, south of Hwy 190, SW of DeRidder and North of Singer. The fire is burning in pine plantations making portions of the fire difficult to access. Heavy residual foliage from Hurricane Laura are also fueling the fire making it more extreme than it normal.

In service are 180 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 first responders with Black Hawk helicopters and 16 dozers and the fire response is using Large Air Tankers, Scoopers, and Air Attack from Texas.

Today, the focus of operations is to establish dozer lines and to mop up areas of heat. Along the northern edge of the fire, crews will be working to keep the fire south of Stamps Road and Shins Road, and west of Scheuetz Road.

While some limited rain gives a window of opportunity for firefighters to catch up the rain is expected to push south today leaving the area still dry and hot.

Currently, the fire remains 50% contained.

Tiger Island Wildfire - August 28
Tiger Island Wildfire - August 28(TigerIsland@firenet.gov)

Ragle Road

A fire on Ragle Road near Longville has been contained after flaring up again on Sunday, August 27.

The fire had originally been contained on Saturday.

No damage to any structures have been reported.

Road Closures

Highways 190, 389, 110, and 27 in Beauregard Parish are all open at this time.

Highway 171 from Leesville to Anacoco has reopened in Vernon Parish.

Water Shortage

The fires have damage water infrastructure in Singer, causing significant losses in water pressure and outages.

Officials are asking residents to use water only for necessary use, such as washing dishes and showering. Water districts are trying to keep water pressure up to fight the fires.

Evacuee Info

The American Red Cross is 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.

First Baptist Church on the east side of DeRidder is also serving as a shelter for those who need to evacuate.

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. If you need to contact management call 337-396-7715 or 337-375-2028.

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.

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