Marsh fire near Bell City contained; one local property owner concerned

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:14 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 7:05 PM CDT
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Firefighters battle a marsh fire near Bell City on Sept. 13, 2023.
Firefighters battle a marsh fire near Bell City on Sept. 13, 2023.(Bell City/Hayes/Holmwood Fire Department)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Nearly two weeks after fires sparked near Bell City, a marsh went up in flames again.

District 1, Ward 2 Fire Chief David Guidry said it flared up around 7 last night.

“We received a call yesterday afternoon, that we had flames showing in the marsh. Of course with it being in the marsh, there’s nothing we can do with it, we can’t get to it, all we could do is watch it and see if we could keep it from coming up higher,” Guidry said.

Guy DeRouen, a nearby property owner, is hopeful it will not spread and burn down land that was passed down from generation to generation.

“It’s bad, as dry as it is, worried about the houses north of us, trying to keep everybody safe, so they don’t lose everything they got,” DeRouen said.

DeRouen and his family live about three miles away from where the marsh fire was actively burning. He said the land near the fire is owned by his family.

Last night, DeRouen said he was taking a ride near the family-owned land and when he saw smoke, he became concerned.

“I was riding out here, checking everything, when I got in, I seen the smoke, and jumped on my bike, come check everything out and the fire department was here and I was trying to give a helping hand,” he said.

He said he is hopeful their property will not fall victim to the marsh fire.

“The way it is looking, we can just hope, and hope for some rain,” DeRouen said.

Chief Guidry said the forestry department has helped with containing the fire.

“We also had forestry come out last night, and they ran a dozer line on this road right here and cleaned this road up a little bit. Right now at this time we have CPSO flying overhead taking overhead pictures of it and gives us a general idea of what the fire is doing and what it looks like,” Guidry said.

He said today’s rain has helped significantly with extinguishing the fire. He said he and his crew have been able to leave the scene but are still monitoring the area.