FEMA approves grant for Beauregard Parish to help with wildfire fighting efforts

FEMA approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant for Louisiana in response to the wildfire burning tens of thousands of acres in the northwestern corner of Beauregard Parish dubbed the Tiger Island Fire.

This grant was announced on Thursday by Gov. John Bel Edwards and GOHSEP.

FEMA awarded the grant “due to the threat to lives, homes, property and critical facilities and infrastructure near Merryville and the surrounding areas.”

“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,” Edwards said. “I have been in constant communication with all of our federal partners from FEMA to the USDA and the White House.”

He reiterated that it is imperative for everyone to adhere to the statewide burn ban.

“The situation right now is very dangerous and unpredictable, and we need the public focused on following the state burn ban that remains in place until further notice. I am asking everyone to refrain from burning anything at this time. 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.”

Mike Steele, GOHSEP communications director, told the American Press that a majority of funding that Beauregard Parish receives will be reimbursements for any costs associated with the Tiger Island Fire.

As the emergency is ongoing, it is unclear how much the reimbursement will be. Grant amounts will be determined after the parish is able to collect and submit data.

Tiger Island Fire Status

Further mandatory evacuations regarding the Tiger Island Fire were instituted for residents near La. 27.

Late Wednesday night, the fire crossed over La. 27 north of Newlin Cemetery Road.

Evacuation orders were issued for residents of Fred Cloessner Road Bob Cooley Road, Mitchell Loop, Ira Cooley Road, John Bowman Road, Kenneth Dunn Road, Robert Slaydon Road and the north end of Newlin Cemetery Road.

Merryville was placed under a mandatory evacuation at 5:05 p.m. BPSO stated the fire was expected to reach town limits within one or two hours.

There were no structural losses or injuries, according to the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office.

La. 27 and La. 110 were opened Thursday morning, but later were reclosed as traffic posed a danger to forestry workers and firefighters.

As of Thursday afternoon, the fire was almost 85 percent contained, according to a BPSO statement on Facebook. High winds and rekindling slowed containment efforts.

A smaller second fire was reported in east Beauregard parish on Tommy Campbell Road and Larry Bushnell Road. This fire burned eight acres but has been contained.

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