UPDATE: Shelter-in-place, evacuation order lifted

Published 6:05 am Sunday, June 4, 2023

The mandatory evacuation and shelter-in-place for the Graywood subdivision and the Big Lake Road area — put in place after an oil tank caught fire at the Calcasieu Refining Company — have been lifted.

The order — which had been in place since just before 2 p.m. Saturday — was lifted at about 6 a.m. Sunday.

The fire is being attributed to lightening striking the tank, which ignited naphta — the flammable product inside, according to the Louisiana State Police Troop D. The main uses of petroleum naphtha can be for solvents for paints, dry cleaning and cutback asphalts, and it’s used in the rubber industry and in the industrial extraction processes.

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Multiple fire crews from the surrounding area helped put the fire out, and several local law enforcement agencies helped clear the area.

Several roads were also closed to the public in an effort to keep the public away from the area — including Haymark Road, West Tank Farm Road and Graywood Parkway, troopers said.

The original shelter-in-place order was for a 5-mile radius around Calcasieu Refining, according to the Calcasieu Office of Emergency Preparedness. That was eventually reduced to a 3-mile radius, then a fourth-mile radius