Categories: World

Louisiana sees ‘unprecedented’ 441 wildfires amid extreme drought

Louisiana sees ‘unprecedented’ 441 wildfires amid extreme drought

The state of Louisiana, in the United States, registered an unprecedented number of 441 wildfires in August, forcing several cities in the southwest to evacuate their populations on Thursday (24). The local government also determined a ban on burning.

The state is facing severe heat and drought conditions. In an email to CNN Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry spokeswoman Jennifer Finely said the 441 fires occurred from Aug. 1 to Aug. 24.

Finley further said that 8,385.73 acres burned from August 1 to 25, adding that the number of areas detected does not include where the fire is still burning, on Tiger Island, which is estimated to be over 20,000 acres. “Tigre Island will not be accounted for until it is disclosed,” she said.

As of Friday night (25), there were at least six fires burning in Livingston, Sabine, Vernon and Beauregard.

Governor John Bel Edwards met with state and local officials on Friday to assess the numerous wildfires raging across the state.

At a news conference the same day in Beauregard, where numerous communities are under mandatory evacuation, Edwards said authorities are dealing not with one fire but with several across the state “in a way that is very alarming.”

Drought conditions broke out quickly in southwestern Louisiana, leaving 6% of the state in exceptional dry conditions, according to the weather forecast. CNN.

Nearly 50% of the state is in extreme conditions or worse. About 77% of the state is experiencing a severe drought or worse. In mid-July, there was no extreme drought in Louisiana.

“Nobody living in Louisiana has ever seen these conditions,” said Edwards. “It’s never been so hot, so dry, for so long.”

Edwards urged citizens to adhere to the statewide ban on burning. “You shouldn’t be lighting a barbecue anywhere in the state of Louisiana today,” Edwards said.

He added that the National Guard is assisting in the efforts and that the state has requested federal and other state assistance to help tackle the flames.

Speaking of Beauregard, the governor said, “The Louisiana National Guard is entitled to 100 active duty troops in this area. They are allowed to go up to 300 as they have to.”

According to Edwards, as of Friday morning, helicopters had moved about 161,000 gallons of water, dropping them on areas affected by the fire. No deaths were reported, the governor said.

The Beauregard Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for the town of Merryville on Thursday night, saying the fire could reach city limits within hours, according to the Louisiana State Police.

On Friday, the cabinet issued new evacuation orders for Bancroft, the Ragle Road area and the community of Junction. “It is of the utmost importance to leave now,” the Beauregard Sheriff’s Office insisted in an order sent to Bancroft residents.

See also: Fire tornado forms over lake in Canada

data-youtube-width=”500px” data-youtube-height=”281px” data-youtube-ui=”international” data-youtube-play=”” data-youtube-mute=”0″ data-youtube-id= “Ug5dxdBvn3E”

On Friday of last week, the sheriff’s office said utilities had shut down services to Merryville residents. “All water must be conserved at all costs, we need water to fight fires,” he said in a Facebook post.

During a time of year when Louisiana typically prepares for hurricanes and tropical storms, the state faces a growing threat of wildfires.

All regions of the state are under red flag warning, according to the National Weather Service.

State emergency operations centers were activated on Wednesday morning to help fight the flames.

“This time this year, obviously, we are dealing with a different kind of weather situation that requires everyone to be aware of the fire ban and do their part to reduce the likelihood that we have something that could potentially start a fire,” he said. Service director Casey Tingle at a news conference on Wednesday.

Tingle said the service is running out of resources as Louisiana has been under a fire ban since Aug. 7.

“When it comes to this time of year, typically, we’re talking about hurricanes, tropical storms, rainfall, flooding and that sort of thing,” he said.

“Our audience is very attentive to these kinds of messages and always does a great job of helping us as a state to respond to and recover from these events when they happen.”

“We desperately need everyone’s help to enforce this (no burning) order,” he said.

And there is no relief in sight: the forecast for the area and the state is expected to be dry and hot weather, added Tingle. The deputy chief of the state fire department, Felicia Cooper, also said the situation is dangerous for people.

About 77% of the state is experiencing some level of drought, up from 7% of the state just three months ago, according to the weather forecast. CNN .

Source: CNN Brasil