UPDATE: Wildfires closing in on Merryville town limits

By Crystal Stevenson and Emily Burleigh

The Town of Merryville has been put under mandatory evacuation as the newly dubbed Tiger Island Wildfire is building in intensity.

The fire jumped Neale Oilfield Road and was burning northbound in the direction of La. 190 West Thursday night as buses were stationed at Merrvyville Town Hall for those who needed transportation out of town.

La. 389 and La. 110 have been closed.

A shelter has also been set up at First Methodist Church in DeRidder for fleeing families and feeding stations are open outside the Beauregard Baptist Association building.

The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office said authorities are attempting to contain the fire but a storm with 30 mph winds is pushing the fire north.

The fire was reportedly two miles from the town just after 7:30 p.m.

“We are asking if you live in the areas of Junction/Red Hill/Nichols Sibley Road areas you should be prepared to evacuate if needed in the near future,” BPSO said in a Facebook post at 8 p.m. Thursday. “We suggest packing a bag and have necessary items to pick up and leave in a rush. Remain vigilant, please.”

The state has named the wildfire the Tiger Island Fire because it started near the Tiger Island Hunting Club. Local fire departments, volunteers and the National Guard have been battling the fire — which started Tuesday morning — from the air and ground. By Wednesday, the first mandatory evacuations went out for parts of Singer with Merryville initially under a voluntary evacuation order. That changed Thursday afternoon.

Record heat and drought are creating some of the worst fire conditions for the state since the turn of the century, according to the National Weather Service.

“This is rapidly becoming the biggest fire danger threat this area has had since the summer of 2000,” the agency warned. “Fires can spread rapidly in these conditions.”

Local News

Busy hurricane season predicted

Local News

Secretary of State warns voters about mailers distributed by third-party group

life

Hayes library to host sweet recipe exchange

Business

EPA: $1.4M settlement with Sasol Chemicals for alleged chemical accident prevention

life

Summer, fall registration opens at Sowela

Local News

Total solar eclipse reaches U.S. on way to Canada

Business

GreenPal app launches in LC connecting homeowners with mowing services

Local News

Trump declines to endorse a national abortion ban, says limits should be left to states

Business

Auditor’s report suggests more scrutiny in economic development

Local News

63-year-old killed in single-vehicle crash

life

City teams up with Coast Guard for Wind, Waves and Wheels hands-on event

McNeese Sports

BREAKING: Wade remaining Cowboy coach

life

McNeese offers students Eclipse Viewing Party

Local News

McCleod Series, Hector San Miguel Memorial Fund team up to focus on future of journalism

Local News

LC native and NASA engineer Chris Lupo receives 2024 Federal Engineer Award

McNeese Sports

Cowgirls sweep Lamar

life

SW La. school lunch menus April 8-12

life

Holy Humor Sunday: Church service aims to make hearts merry

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Each day brings scary changes

McNeese Sports

Cowgirls work quick, topple Lamar

Local News

Safe eclipse viewing planned for Calcasieu students

life

Solar eclipse playlist: 20 songs to rock out to

life

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

Local News

SW La.’s eclipse forecast cloudy, wet