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Weekend rain helped fire fight, but wildfire threat can still intensify

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BATON ROUGE - Over the weekend there was a little bit of relief in the fight against wildfires in Beauregard Parish, as some rain did finally fall, but for firefighters the battle is not over.

"Weather moved in a little bit. We had some thunderstorms move in, kind of capped the fire, kind of calmed everything down," operations section chief Pete Myers said.

As of Monday morning, the fires that have burned more than 50,000 acres are about 50 percent contained, but the rain relief may have just been enough to let firefighters catch their breath, even with more rain in this week's forecast.

"It may not be until 2024 when we fully see our area recover from drought," said WBRZ Chief Meteorologist Dr. Josh Eachus.

Dr. Josh says there are only two ways to come out of this historic drought.

"We could see it erased very quickly if we got some extremely unusual event like a '2016' or tropical system that parked and rained, but that would be an undesirable way to recover from drought. That would be high impact. The way we gradually and want to hack away this is to see a steady period of several weeks or months where we just have a little bit more rainfall per week than usual and we just kind of claw our way back to normal."

As for the wildfire risk, the current time of the year is not going to help.

"It's really important point out that September, October, November are typically are driest month of the year and we know the leaves are starting to change and fall and the grass starts to go dormant and get a little bit more crispy normally at this time so we're kind of hitting this drought at the time of the year that's not favorable to come out it."

Currently the mandatory evacuations in Beauregard parish have been downgraded to voluntary.

Baton Rouge fire currently has 15 firefighters assisting across the state.

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