BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Gov. John Bel Edwards and others, including Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, gave an update about ongoing wildfires across the state Wednesday morning.
The governor called the fight against fires a “new normal” the state needs to prepare for.
A new statewide burn ban was issued Friday, Aug. 25. The governor said there’s no exception to the burn ban as hundreds of wildfires have started. Louisiana is at an increased risk for fires Wednesday and Thursday as there is a combination of low relative humidity, gusty winds and extreme drought, according to the New Orleans National Weather Service.
There have been about 520 fires in the state, Edwards said, calling it a challenging situation as crews from in and out of state work to battle blazes. He said hot and dry conditions are forecasted to continue for the rest of this week.
Edwards urges residents to avoid burning anything, saying, “There will be a time for it, not now.”
Crews are still fighting the Tiger Island Fire, which was first reported on Aug. 22, as 50% of the fire is contained. This fire is located east of Merryville, south of Hwy 190, southwest of DeRidder and north of Singer.
Over 30 citations were issued in the last two days in connection to burnings, Strain said. He’s also asking for people to avoid burning of any kind.
State Fire Marshal Daniel Wallis said he’s never seen anything like these fires, calling it “unprecedented.” He’s asking people to take the burn ban seriously.
How people can get resources, help
Those who are affected by fires and need resources can call 211 or LAHelpU at 888-524-3578.