State authorities revealed on the previous day that the massive wildfire, which engulfed more than 33,000 acres in Louisiana, marking the largest such incident in the state’s history, was deliberately ignited by an arsonist.
Louisiana has grappled with an unparalleled wildfire crisis, with an extraordinary tally of 441 fires recorded between August 1 and August 24, as reported by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF).
The Tiger Island Fire in Louisiana holds the distinction of being the most substantial wildfire ever documented in the state. It has consumed in excess of 33,000 acres, a figure surpassing the typical annual statewide wildfire activity.
“This is unprecedented. We’ve never had to fight this many fires simultaneously and at this duration. We’re fighting between 25 and 30 wildfires today. It’s burning very intensely. It’s moving pretty fast, and you can feel the air picking up. That’s from the heat of the fire sucking air into the fire.”
This was the #TigerIslandFire last night in SW Louisiana. The fire grew to 14k acres, prompting evacuations! The fire was named for the hunting club it started near but the cause is under investigation. Thankfully it is now 85% contained but the fire danger is still HIGH in… pic.twitter.com/HPgF7UyX4Y— Updates (@sirfupdate) August 25, 2023
Damn, Louisiana on fire 🔥 too 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ZE5tHFKvDk— MrDaddy (@therealmrdaddy1) August 26, 2023
The Enforcement Division of the LDAF, in collaboration with deputies from the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s office and detectives from the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office, has officially verified that the origin of the Tiger Island Fire can be attributed to deliberate arson.
In an official statement, authorities appealed to the general public for assistance in identifying the individual responsible for the act of arson.
“Investigators urge you to call law enforcement if you or anyone you know has any information regarding this fire. To report an arsonist or information regarding this fire, call the LDAF 24-hour hotline at 1-855-452-5323, the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office at 337-462-8918, or the State Fire Marshal Office at 1-844-954-1221.”
Calls made to the LDAF hotline are completely confidential, and the Louisiana Forestry Association has established a financial incentive of up to $2,000 for any details that result in the apprehension and subsequent conviction of those accountable.
The Tiger Island Fire is currently active to the east of Merryville, positioned south of Hwy 190, and approximately five miles east of the Texas state boundary. This fire initially ignited on August 22 within a pine plantation, and it has now consumed over 31,000 acres of forested terrain. It posed a significant threat to the town of Merryville and inflicted severe damage on more than 20 residences and structures.
As a result of the fire, mandatory evacuation directives have been issued for numerous communities in the southwestern region of Louisiana. Additionally, state authorities have enacted a ban on open burning to manage the ongoing situation.