BEAUREGARD WILDFIRES: Gov. Edwards visits Beauregard Parish
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With the Tiger Island Wildfire having now burned more than 32,000 acres it has become the state’s largest wildfire on record. The Red Strike Team in command of fire relief efforts said heavy debris from Hurricane Laura in 2020 still exists and is contributing to the extreme fire behaviors.
Only three areas remain under voluntary evacuation:
- The Junction community north of Merryville town limits and east on Hwy 190W to Seth Cole Road. 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 today.
According to the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office, Monday was a busy but quiet day as first responders continued to try and control and contain the fire. There were no flare-ups, areas where the fires jumped, movement, or major issues. First responders bulldozed both the northwest and northeast to east corners of the fire perimeter to increase protection and contain the fire.
After a further survey of the map as well as the fire perimeter the acreage of the Tiger Fire has now been listed as 31,242 acres. This morning, the fire remains 50% contained.
Overnight there was much of the same with first responders reporting that the fire did not move outside of the perimeter. Crews were most active on the north end of the fire where the latest fire activity had been reported.
Crews will be working today to prioritize securing the containment line near Merryville and moving to the north and east along the fire perimeter. In portions of the fire where containment lines are established, crews will begin to mop up all areas of heat within 100 feet of the line.
Although the eastern edge of the fire received rain during the day yesterday, the drying and warming trends return today. Temperatures will continue to be in the mid-90s, and humidity levels drop down to about 35%. An isolated shower or thunderstorm could develop during the afternoon but will stay south and east of the fire area. The woods and debris left by Hurricane Laura remain critically dry in the area of the fire and, combined with gusty winds, have the potential to produce extreme fire behavior.
As of today, there were 6 confirmed homes lost to the fire, 13 damaged homes awaiting assessment, and 23 structures in total damaged. No loss of life or injuries have been reported.
Governor John Bel Edwards will be flying over the Tiger Island Fire again today. He says hundreds of firefighters from across the state are being deployed in the parish. Hundreds of National Guardsmen are operating bulldozers and helicopters.
But even with these efforts the Governor says residents need to stay vigilant, “This is something for everybody in Louisiana, almost no matter where you live there’s going to be periods of time where the smoke is gonna be in the air, and is you have athsma or other respiratory conditions where it can trigger a problem.. so people need to be aware when that smoke is in the area. Stay inside, as much as possible because there just isn’t much we can do until the fires actually go out.”
In service today are 224 total personnel, 6 Helicopters, 3 Type-1 Engines, 9 Type-6 Engines, 4 Type-2 Tractor Plow Units, 23 Dozers, 2 Water Tenders and 6 Ambulances. 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 also supporting first responders with Black Hawk helicopters and 16 dozers and the fire response is using Large Air Tankers, Scoopers, and Air Attacks from Texas.
You can find yesterday’s statistics in full HERE.
We will have more information on the progress first responders are making as updates are made available to the public
A fire on Ragle Road near Longville has been contained after flaring up again on Sunday, Aug. 27. Firefighters are continuing to monitor and control the fire.
No damage to any structures have been reported.
Red Cross, who provided 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.
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.
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.
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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