Sheriff: ‘Situation better, but we are not out of the woods yet’

Published 4:56 pm Monday, September 4, 2023

Voluntary evacuations remain in place for the Junction community, north of Merryville, as firefighters spent their Labor Day — and the past 14 days — battling the Tiger Island Fire, which has now consumed 31,342 acres.

Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford said the voluntary evacuations of Ragle and Hauser roads, north of Longville, have been lifted and all previously closed roadways remain open.

Herford said the Southern Area Red Incident Management Team is continuing to “mop up” operations along La. 110, between Singer and Merrvyille. He said crews are laying dozer lines to prevent reburn and keep the fire north of La. 110 within existing control lines.

“Residence and structures are protected and the fire remains within the current footprint,” Herford said in his daily Facebook updates.

He said crews are also working to reinforce dozer lines around the town of Merryville to keep residences and structures protected to withstand any possible advancing fire.

“The situation is getting better, but we are not out of the woods yet,” Herford said. “We are still in a drought and much rain is needed.”

As of Monday, the wildfire was reportedly 50 percent contained.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives have said they believe the Tiger Island Fire is arson-related and are asking anyone with information to call a 24-hour anonymous hotline at 855-452-5323 or BPSO at 337-462-8918. The Louisiana Forestry Association is offering up to $2,000 in cash to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction connected to a wildfire.