Southern area Red Teams help local first responders fight Tiger Island Wildfire

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Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 12:17 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s been a continuing effort to extinguish the flames that are making Louisiana history. The Tiger Island Wildfire has burned thousands of acres leaving first responders utilizing every resource at their disposal.

Beauregard Parish Sheriff, Mark Herford says that there are even more assets on the way to help contain the Tiger Island fire, “We’re utilizing K-9 cadaver dogs. The good news is we haven’t had anybody reported missing or anything like that.”

And even more help from across the U.S. is making its way to Beauregard Parish.

“I’m really looking forward today to getting with the red team building that line of communication with them. And hopefully, we can just attack this thing and go ahead and do what we need to do to get it taken care of,” said Herford.

That red team is a collection of special forces from around the country coming to help monitor and stay ahead of the fire.

“We started cooperating on fuels, weather, know what’s out ahead of the fire. You have to incorporate all of those things that will influence fire behavior.”

Steve Parrish is the incident commander for the Southern Area Red Incident Management team that came in to help organize and work with local agencies to manage Tiger Island.

Parrish said they will be holding briefings each day to establish a plan of action and keep all agencies on the same page when battling and gaining control over the fire.

“You’ll get a situational update on what’s happened in the previous shift and then what the plan is for the day. And each day there are people leaving and coming in with resources. So we do that to keep everybody’s situational awareness up and so everyone knows the plan and are safe” said Steve Parrish.

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They are also using the state pact which is a mutual aid agreement from states all over which are sending equipment and additional recourses like dozers.

Greg Titus is the fire behavior analyst for the Southern Area Red Incident Management team and his goal is to monitor which way the fire will move next and inform the firefighters on the ground.

“We’re going to try to establish more control lines around the fire in areas that don’t that, that that do not have control lines, but we’re also going to monitor areas where their control lines are in place because we don’t want to have the fire escape out or leak out because of a torching tree that would throw a spot fire outside of the control lines,” said Titus.