BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The governor says FEMA has approved a request for a federal grant to help fight wildfires in Beauregard Parish.
Crews are currently working to detain fires in Tiger Island. The request was approved due to the threat fires are posing to lives, homes, property and critical facilities and infrastructure near Merryville and nearby areas, the governor’s office said.
“I’m grateful to the federal government for quickly approving our request for this assistance that will help Beauregard Parish combat the wildfire there that has already destroyed thousands of acres of land,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I have been in constant communication with all of our federal partners from FEMA to the USDA and the White House.”
Edwards held a Unified Command Group meeting Thursday morning. He continues to ask residents not to burn anything as the statewide burn ban is still in effect.
“In addition, we have asked all state agencies to halt any control burns until conditions are safer. We cannot afford to have any more fires. While state resources are being made available, firefighters on the ground are being stretched to their limits. We are thankful for the hard work they are doing and should all do our part to prevent any more fires from happening,” said Edwards.
The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office said the mandatory evacuation order is still in effect as of Thursday morning. The fire is now 85% contained, according to deputies, but is still in the area north of Singer.
Singer Water is asking that people who are trying to use their water hoses to fight fire issues are “severely handicapping” crews’ efforts as it is causing issues with volume and pressure, the sheriff’s office said around 10:30 a.m.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and other officials held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to stress the importance of adhering to the statewide burn ban.
Twenty-five people have died of heat-related illnesses this summer, the Louisiana Department of Health reported earlier this week.