BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPRPOUD) — Gov. John Bel Edwards is holding a United Command Group meeting with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in response to ongoing wildfires in the state and the threat of more due to extreme heat conditions.
Wildfires continue to spread throughout Louisiana as temperatures continue to rise paired with a lack of rain. According to weather experts, this summer has been the hottest and driest summer in recent history, developing the ongoing fire-friendly conditions.
The briefing I received this morning underscores the seriousness of the wildfire threat we currently face across the state. While we are urgently responding to the current situation in Beauregard Parish, our first responders have been fighting an unprecedented number of wildfires throughout the state. Unfortunately, many of these fires could have been prevented if Louisianans were adhering to the statewide burn ban and practicing fire safety. We need everyone to do their part in order to prevent further fires with potentially tragic outcomes. This means adhering to the statewide burn ban, properly disposing of cigarettes, securing tow chains, and being extra careful to avoid any outdoor activities that involve lighting a fire.Gov. John Bel Edwards
Edwards declared a state of emergency last week in light of the extreme heat and drought conditions.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has provided a breakdown of the number of wildfires in the state in recent months.
- May: 21 Fires/74 Acres
- June: 65 Fires/297 Acres
- July: 128 Fires/1,362 Acres
- August: 357 Fires/4,909 Acres (as of Aug. 21)
The governor, GOHSEP and state agencies continue to be in continual contact with local governments and are correlating resources as needs come to light.