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.”

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Brumley likes propaganda videos

Crime

Jurors take less than 30 minutes to convict Fontenot of murder

Crime

Sheriff: Body found on the side of the road

life

Team Green Wednesday recycling drop-off schedule has changed

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Veterans Cemetery holds burial for seven unclaimed veterans

Business

Commonwealth LNG accused of mowing over threatened bird habitat

Local News

Biden announces Israel has offered a three-part proposal to end the war in Gaza

Local News

Release of 1M barrels of gas ‘not likely’ to ease price at pump

Crime

LC man charged with child porn possession

Local News

Scooter Hobbs column: Everything you need to know (and more) about LSU opponent

Local News

Lake Charles, Sulphur populations down, but Hunter says news isn’t all bad

life

STEM-centric Saturday: Phillips 66 STEM Family Fun Day in the Park this weekend

Local News

Four local educators finalists for state teacher, principal of the year

Crime

Trial begins for man accused in fatal Sherry Street shooting

Crime

GUILTY: Trump becomes first former US president convicted of felony crimes

Crime

Doomsday plot: Idaho jury convicts Chad Daybell of killing wife and girlfriend’s 2 children

Local News

WEATHER UPDATE: Potential for severe storms into Saturday

Local News

Sowela awarded nearly $300,000 to support mental health intiativies

Local News

Louisiana may soon require public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

Crime

Jury in Trump trial resume deliberations after asking to rehear testimony

Crime

Two injured in Wednesday shooting

life

Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office joins ‘Click It Or Ticket’ campaign

Local News

LDH urges precautions for mosquitoes to protect against West Nile, dengue

Local News

SUV pulled from same waterway where body recovered earlier this week