GOHSEP urging Louisiana residents to adhere to burn bans in order to protect firefighters
BATON ROUGE - Firefighters in the state have been working around the clock to stop the spread of wildfires due to the extreme heat and dry conditions.
It's why GOHSEP activated the state emergency operations center Wednesday and held a press conference urging residents to adhere to the burn ban in order to protect those on the front lines.
"These fires, simply put, present a threat to our public to our families, our homes, our businesses and our property. There is an imminent threat to those who are fighting these fires on our behalf and the crews of firefighters that are out there fighting valiantly in very hot and difficult conditions," Director of Governor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Casey Tingle said.
According to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the number of wildfires has grown tremendously since the conditions started.
In May, 21 fires burned 74 acres of land. In June, 65 fires spread across 297 acres of land. In July, 128 fires torched 1,362 acres of land and so far in August-- 357 fires have scorched nearly 5,000 acres of land.
Evacuation orders are in place for the cities of Singer and Merryville in Beauregard Parish, where Tingle announced that over 12,000 acres have been damaged from the fires.
"Some of the flames overnight were in the range of 300 feet tall as the teams battled this blaze," Tingle said.
State officials are warning the public that ignoring the burn ban will only put more lives in danger.
"We desperately need everyone's help adhering to this order, we know a lot about teamwork in Louisiana, and with the drought and wildfire threat that we face, it is a time for all of us to pull together as a team," Tingle said.
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